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GP practice NHS login guidance

If you work at a GP practice, patients may need your help with NHS login. Find out how to give patients GP Online registration details so they can set up NHS login.

NHS login and Microtest

NHS login works differently in services that connect to the GP medical record, for patients at practices that use the Microtest clinical system. View specific guidance for Microtest practices.

Why some patients need GP Online registration details for NHS login

Most patients will verify their own identity in the app or service they are using, through NHS login, using their own identity documents or GP online registration details they already have. Some patients will not be able to do this, or may choose not to. You will need to verify their identity and give them their GP online registration details, or reset and reissue their details if they're already registered with GP online services, so they can complete the NHS login set-up process. View a video and step-by-step guide to setting up NHS login.

Patients may ask for their GP Online registration details from their surgery, so they can create an NHS login, because:

  • they do not have photo ID that NHS login can accept
  • their ID check was unsuccessful or their details could not be matched to their GP record successfully
  • their previous GP Online registration details have expired
  • they prefer to use this method rather than the ID and video method
  • they have moved GP practice recently, and originally verified their identity for NHS login using GP Online details
  • the practice has recently changed GP Online supplier

Children aged 15 or under

If the patient is a child aged 15 or under, they may not be able to connect with your GP practice without getting GP online registration details. This happens if the website or app, for example the NHS App, they are trying to access through NHS login has specified that they need to have their competence to use GP online services assessed and verified by the practice.

You can get more information on the BMA ethics toolkit and the RCGP guidance on providing online record access for children and young people. Some CCGs or groups of practices may have strict rules on giving online access to young people under the age of 16, so make sure you follow local guidance.

You can use your clinical system to set up online accounts and give patients the identity evidence they need to create an NHS login. The method for verifying identity is the same as for GP online services. You must continue to follow the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guidance on identity verification for new applicantsAccess full RCGP Patient Online (GP Online) guidance.

The process for giving patients the registration details they need to set up NHS login is the same as the process for third-party apps. The method is slightly different, depending on which clinical system you use. You can get detailed technical information from your system supplier. We have provided brief guidance for TPP SystmOne and EMIS clinical systems. Guidance for the Vision clinical system will be provided soon. 


System-specific guidance

TPP SystmOne: how to provide GP Online registration details

Patients will need their account ID, their third-party passphrase and the ODS code of your practice to complete NHS login using GP online registration details.

Check whether the patient is already registered for GP online services.

Make sure the patient’s email address has the status of ‘verified’ selected against it within the patient record. This status may be automatically verified by the system or need to be manually selected by the practice. NHS login cannot currently create a registration with SystmOne using GP online services user registration details without the verified email status.

Patients who are not registered

If the patient is not already registered for GP online services:

  1. Check you can confirm their identity – your practice will have a procedure for verifying patients’ identity, which meets the RCGP guidance

  2. For patients under 16, follow your existing procedure for assessing competence
  3. Select ‘Register for online services’ from the patient record
  4. Send the account ID and the third-party passphrase, a code which the patient will use to register, via text or email, or print it out.

Patients who are registered

Patients who are already registered for GP online services need their account ID and third-party passphrase. This will not be the same as the password they have set to log in to any web applications or third-party apps.

As the third-party passphrase expires 14 days after it was issued, you should choose ‘issue new third-party passphrase’ from the patient record to generate a new passphrase for them to use, with their account ID, in the login process.

Do not choose any of the other options, for example 'Reset user name and password', as this will not reset the details they need to register.

Patients can also reset their own details from within the online services they use.

EMIS: how to provide GP Online registration details

Patients will need their account ID and PIN, or account linkage key, and the ODS code of your practice to complete NHS login using GP online registration details.

First, check whether the patient is already registered for GP online services.

Patients who are not registered

If the patient is not already registered for online services:

  1. Go to 'Registration' and select the patient.

  2. Make sure they have a primary, verified email address recorded (so that you will be able to email the details they need to log on to the app).
  3. If the patient is under 16, you need to add the code EMISNQCO278, which means 'Competent to consent to online access' to their record before you start registration. (Follow your existing procedure for assessing competence)
  4. On the Registration screen, click the Patient Services tab.
  5. Click Add online user > Add current patient.
  6. Complete the Online user screen, making sure you follow your practice's procedure for verifying identity, which meets the RCGP guidance - the access configuration settings can be left on default
  7. Click 'OK'.
  8. Select how you want to send the PIN document, containing the account ID and PIN (linkage key) which the patient can use to register.

Patients who are registered

Patients who are already registered for GP online services need their account ID and third-party linkage key. This will not be the same as the password they have set to log in to any web applications or third-party apps.

As the third-party linkage key expires 14 days after it was issued, please generate a new linkage key from the patient record for them to use, along with their account ID, for the login process.

Do not choose to 'Reset user name and password', as this will not reset the details they need to register.

Patients can also reset their own details from within the online services they use.

Last edited: 8 February 2021 2:02 pm