NHS Identity


NHS Identity is a new authentication service that allows all clinicians to access clinical information at the point of need. Available over the internet, and on a range of devices including tablets and mobiles, it will transform the work of mobile clinicians.

Access information wherever the need

Currently the only way for NHS staff to authenticate is over an N3 (HSCN) connection using a Smartcard. The new service will be available over the internet, opening services up to a much wider workforce.

Staff on the move, such as paramedics and community midwives, will be able to access the information whenever and wherever they need it. The hours spent printing off and refiling patient notes will be a thing of the past.

Professionals frustrated by logging in to multiple systems to carry out their services will benefit from a single, secure login. NHS Identity supports federation of identity – linking a user’s electronic identity to multiple systems determined by their registered role.

Authenticate using a range of devices

NHS providers use a diverse range of technology. NHS Identity will be able to authenticate using a range of alternative devices as well as NHS Smartcards. This will include mobile devices, Yubikeys, wearables and other operating systems including Android, Google Chrome and iOS. 

Protecting patients

NHS Digital is committed to the protection of patient data. NHS staff will only be able to access data in accordance with their designated roles. Registration Authority managers will continue to assign access privileges only to staff who have had their identity assured to a high level. A record of clinician's access to a patient’s data will be tracked by the Care Identity Service (CIS), currently accessed using NHS Smartcards.

Future developments

NHS Identity completed a pilot with the Data Landing Portal (DLP) in May 2018. A second pilot is scheduled to begin in March 2019. Further pilots and features will be developed during 2019.

For more information about NHS Identity email nhs.identity@nhs.net.

For technical information visit https://developer.nhs.uk/apis/national-authentication/.