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Apply for NHS login

Check if you are eligible for NHS login, review if it fits your needs and apply.

What you need to do
  • Find out how we will work together
  • Check if you are eligible
  • Review if NHS login fits your needs
  • Complete and submit application form

How we will work together

The purpose of this application process is to understand if your service is suitable for NHS login, and to make sure it fits your needs.

We will work together with you throughout your integration with NHS login, making sure you have all of the support and documentation you need to proceed. You will be assigned a project manager to help you through the integration process. Partners typically take 3 to 4 months to complete the process - some have completed in 6 weeks!

Most of our communication with you will be via Microsoft Teams. A private channel will be set up following the Preparation Call.

Check if you are eligible

NHS login allows patient access to patient facing services, it does not cover clinical authorisation. 

To be eligible for NHS login, your service must: 

  • serve patients that are registered at a GP practice in England, and/or are receiving NHS services in England
  • be patient facing
  • offer a health or social care benefit
  • be commissioned (contracted) or sponsored in development by an NHS organisation (such as NHS England, an ICB or General Practice) or Local Authority. Being on an NHS England delivery framework does not mean you have a commission.
  • be free to the patient at the point of delivery (excluding any NHS levied charges such as prescription charges)

There are four primary scenarios related to sponsored and commissioned and these are:

  1. Product is live, with a native method of ID verification and authentication and has a commission.
  2. Product is live, with a native method of ID verification and authentication. Product does not have a commission from the NHS or a Local Authority.
  3. Product is in development with an NHS or Local Authority sponsor.
  4. Product is in development without an NHS or Local Authority sponsor.

For scenarios one and three, you will meet our criterion. For scenarios two and four, we will need to discuss your plans for sponsorship and commissioning in more detail.

Before your product goes live with NHS login, you must be able to evidence a commission (contract) from an NHS or Social Care organisation. This is a contract with an exchange of resources (usually money) between you and that organisation.
For more on commissioning refer to

Review if NHS login fits your needs

Before you apply for NHS login, you should make sure it fits your needs by reviewing the webpage How NHS login works 

You can find information on NHS login from a user's perspective at

You can also find information from a technical perspective on the NHS login Developer Documentation website.

Let us know if you are working with other NHS Digital APIs when you apply as there may be linked dependencies. For example you can not have the GP surgery information scope in the NHS login integration test or live environments before you are live with IM1, either direct via NHS England IM1 or via an approved third party IM1 connection.

NHS login cannot be used just to obtain GP credentials once, like linkage keys, (and then a product reverts to a native login procedure). NHS login can only be used for verification and repeat authentication of patients.

Apply for NHS login

NHS login uses the NHS Digital Onboarding Service (DOS).

With digital onboarding, you use our online service to submit the information we need to make a decision on your product at this stage.

Find out how digital onboarding works and how to get started.

You can access the digital onboarding portal at

Application Review Call

When we receive your application form, we will review it and make sure we understand your product and that it meets our eligibility criteria. We will email you if we are unsure about anything. 

While we review your application, you can take a look at the work required in the Discovery stage.

We will invite you to an Application Review Call to learn more about your team and your product and give you an overview of the NHS login integration process. The call will also give you the opportunity to ask anything you are not clear on. 

During the call we will be talking about :

  1. Overview of your product and why NHS login
  2. Timescale to live
  3. Data hosting and processing location, in particular noting outside of the UK
  4. Geographic deployment of the product (noting NHS login is commissioned for use in England only)
  5. Current commissioners / commissioning discussions underway
  6. Need for other NHS England APIs – such as IM1 PFS or PDS FHIR 
  7. Describe the verification and authentication level you believe your product requires as assessed against DCB3051. It is essential that you read DCB3051 Specification and Implementation Guidance (Amd 7/2020) before the call.
  8. Scopes you require i.e. what information you need back from NHS login about the user such as their NHS number or surname.

What happens next

After the call, we will write a report that is then presented at the NHS login Partner Integration Board. The Board will decide if your application is approved, rejected, or deferred pending further information required. We will let you know the Board date and the outcome.


Last edited: 8 January 2024 10:36 am