NHS login service

TypeInteroperability Standard
Effective Date 


The NHS login Programme is developing a single, secure and easy-to-use system for verifying the identity of citizens and services requesting access to digital health records so that we can ensure people only access information about themselves and those in their care. Additional information can be found on the NHS login page on NHS Digital's website. 

The very first stage of this development is to support the NHS App which will initially use existing IM1 interfaces to integrate with incumbent GP systems.  To enable this it is necessary for GP systems to provide a simple API for retrieval and/or creation of the "Linkage Key" (also known as "passphrase").

Future phases on the Roadmap (see below) will require GP Solutions to:

  • consume the NHS login service instead of local authentication mechanisms.
  • provision local identities directly into NHS login.

Please note this initiative was previously known as Citizen Identity.


GP Linkage Key

Part of this work involves the development of a new simple interface to retrieve and create linkage keys for users, whereby the NHS login platform is used to register and verify users via an online process. As part of this process, the NHS login platform will obtain an NHS number (with appropriate consent) and validate this against PDS and GP Practice Codes (i.e. ODS Codes). This approach will allow the NHS login platform to retrieve linkage keys for users and allow the platform to generate new linkage keys for users where they do not already have one. The latest requirements set can be accessed below: