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NHS Digital to Offer Single Identity Service by September 2017

According to the NHS Digital’s latest business plan, NHS Digital will have a single, secure identity for each member of the public across health and care services by the end of September 2017.

On 28th March 2017, NHS Digital published its latest board paper that shows NHS Digital “will agree a system for Citizen Identify and go live for selected Personalised health and care 2020 programmes” by the end of September 2017.

NHS Digital aims to create an identity authentication scheme which “links social identities to an NHS identity so the correct information can be confidently shared”. The plans are part of the Personalised health and care 2020 programmes, and forms part of the patient engagement stream, aiming on giving patients control of their own health and “lessening pressures on frontline services”.

The digital identity plan will be integrated with NHS.uk to create a single point of public access to online information and health service "interactions” including the personal health record that is being developed, which will give patients online access to their health records for the first time.

Last year, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary announced the plans to revamp NHS Choices, but the NHS.uk team has been blogging about the project since 2015. It was back in June 2015 that the rebranding was announced by the director of strategic systems and technology at NHS England, Beverley Bryant.

A spokeswoman for NHS Digital said that NHS Digital was "studying a number of strategic options for confirmation and identity verification for digital health services, including consideration of current services such as Patient Online and GOV.UK Verify.

NHS Digital is taking an incremental approach and will be publishing updates as progress through this work, spokeswoman added.

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