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NHS login


NHS login is is the system for checking the identity of patients, and their carers, so that they can access medical records securely. This means that only the right people can see a patient's medical record.

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Learn more about NHS login if you are a patient

Suppliers looking to integrate NHS login should read our external interface specification

If you need to authenticate healthcare staff, rather than patients and carers, you need NHS Identity

NHS login - making identity verification simple

NHS login is important in supporting infrastructure for many other personalised health and care 2020 programmes and could be used by other NHS Digital national programmes, local initiatives, and other government organisations.

At the moment, patients can access health records through a variety of local and national online systems. Different systems require users to verify their identity in different ways, which means gaining access can be complicated and time consuming. 

A single identity verification system will make it simpler for patients to access digital records and services. As a result, they will be able to make better, more informed health and care decisions which will improve their health and therefore reduce demand on frontline services.

NHS login will also reduce burden and costs for local health and care organisations who would otherwise need to procure systems individually.

As a foundation for this work, we are working closely with system suppliers, clinicians and the public to develop identity standards, and we are carrying out local testing and trialling of different services to ensure both patient and system needs are met.

How a person can prove who they are

A person will be able to prove who they are using one of the following three ways:

  • online – using a trusted photo ID document such as a passport or driving licence plus a short video selfie  (so we can compare the face in the video to the face on the photo ID)
  • online – using the details they were given by their doctor’s surgery to book appointments or order repeat prescriptions online
  • in person when they use a health or care service – a health professional who knows them and who has access to their health record can confirm who they are.

If someone doesn’t want to take a video, there are other ways that we can compare their face to their photo ID – for example in person at their doctor’s surgery.

To make it more convenient for some people and to lower the burden on the NHS, we’re also exploring if a person can prove their identity using a trusted photo ID document at high street locations.

People who already use their GP’s online system, can sometimes use those registration details.

Once a person has proved who they are using their photo ID (either online or in person), they should not have to do this again. Even if they use their NHS login for other websites and apps.

Why does a person needs to prove who they are

A person needs to prove who they are to keep their NHS login secure.

We have published the identity verification and authentication standard for digital health and care services.  It describes how and why a person should prove who they are before they use a health or care website or app.

It’s based on the government’s Identity proofing and verification of an individual good practice guide. All services that use our authentication and verification platform must meet NHS Digital’s standard.

Giving permission for other people to access someone’s health information

A person can give someone else – such as a carer, friend or family member – permission to manage their care using an NHS login-controlled website or app. This is called delegated access. The person must prove who they are before they’re given delegated access. 

Using an NHS number

People don’t need their NHS Number to set up an NHS login, but it could help us to find their health record if they do know it.

Further information

  1. external
Last edited: 2 April 2019 1:14 pm