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NHS App: Reliably authenticating access & use of healthcare records

COVID-19 prompted expansion of secure identity login for current and future digital health services in the UK. Xydus is the identity partner for the NHS Login Programme, which has now registered over 30 million users.


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Specialising in ID re-use and reconfiguration, the Xydus platform is capable of uniquely validating, authenticating and delivering automated decisions against any identity framework. The NHS Login Programme was established to provide everyone in England with access to a range of digital health and care services with one set of login details. During the pandemic, the programme enabled people to access their COVID Passport through the NHS App. Powered by identity checks from Xydus, the initiative continues to grow, in both the number of users who have registered and the variety and extent of available health and care services (for the list of services and providers available today click here). The app offers a digital front door for interacting with the NHS and digital healthcare services – empowering patients to access a range of services from the comfort of their homes.


Developing a secure England-wide digital identity and registration infrastructure that would support millions of users. To successfully complete a registration on the NHS App, the identity of the individual must be authenticated to the highest level of assurance. To achieve this assurance, the NHS under the Login Programme developed an integrated solution that incorporates several key components. Xydus is responsible for the verification of the user’s Government Issued Photo ID and the process that ensures an exact match between the users’ personal information printed on their Photo ID and the records held by their GP.


Xydus designed the architecture necessary to guard and control the digital identities of users throughout their lifecycle - generating, protecting and managing cryptographic keys used for digital certificates and signatures. Using the NHS App, clients needed to prove who they are before accessing health records such as the NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad, booking and managing doctor appointments; ordering repeat e-prescriptions; managing organ donor decisions and, importantly serving as the registration actor for future digital health and care services and their providers.

According to the latest data from the Department of Health & Social Care, use of the NHS App is freeing up valuable clinician time with 1.7 million GP appointments booked and over 22 million repeat prescriptions ordered in the last 12 months, up from 9 million over the same period last year. In addition to this, over 128,000 people also registered their organ donation decision using the technology. Overall, the app is having a positive impact on the NHS as a whole, through service provision and delivery, whilst making significant savings on administration costs. The app is also readying the broader population for an era of digital health and care services and interoperability of electronic health records, (EHR).

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