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NHS to pilot ID verification platform this spring

NHS roadmap for digital services sets out plans for launching a joined-up NHS app, piloting its citizen ID platform and moving across to the new website

The NHS has published a roadmap, highlighting plans and deadlines for a series of patient-facing digital services, including its citizen ID project.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the NHS is building its own platform for ID verification instead of using the Verify platform created by the Government Digital Service (GDS). The platform aims to allow patients to securely access online health records and services.

According to the roadmap, the ID platform is due to enter alpha pilot stage in the first quarter of the 2018-19 financial year, with testing of the platform beginning this spring.

The roadmap adds that the full version of the identity verification system, which “will provide people with a single login for local and national NHS online services” is likely to be launched in 2019/2020.

The NHS also plans to launch an NHS app, which will offer people “access to a range of NHS digital tools and services”.

NHS England’s chief digital officer Juliet Bauer wrote in a blog post last month that the aim is for the app to be live by the end of 2018.

“We’re also building an open and connectable platform that will make it easy for innovative developers to plug their technology into our single, joined-up NHS app, and start making a difference to patients,” she wrote.

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The roadmap also said it will continue work to completely “retire” NHS Choices, removing it from content and external links throughout the year to officially be rebranded simply the “NHS Website”. In 2015, the decision was made to move away from NHS Choices to, which aims to be a “digital front door” for accessing NHS services and advice.

The NHS will also fully launch its new NHS Apps Library, which is currently in beta stage, by the end of the 2018-19 financial year. Last week, the NHS urged developers to submit apps to the library for assessment, and is currently in the process of developing a standard assessment procedure, with the aim being for patients to feel confident “that the apps they use are safe and trusted”.  

The roadmap also includes plans to roll out the electronic child health record in England by April 2019, roll out NHS 111 online across the country by the end of the 2018-19 financial year and having digital inclusion pathfinder projects live across 20 clinical commissioning groups by 2019/2020.

Bauer said in her blog that all the projects are being developed in an agile way, and testing, listening and collaboration will continue.

“As our work progresses, the patient experience will become more personalised, with advice, support and care uniquely tailored to each person. Services will appear more joined up, and patients will not just understand how to navigate between them, but will be smoothly guided through one clear relationship with the NHS to get to the care they need,” she said.

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