The NHS login is a patient facing service helping patients to use multiple health and social care services (referred to as ‘connected services’) with a single login. Whilst some patients may need help registering with the service, most patients are able to complete the checks and process without involving their GP practice.
A current list of the websites and apps you can access with an NHS login can be found on the NHS login website.
Who NHS login is for
NHS login is for use only by people who live in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or Isle of Man. Not all connected services are available in all areas. In particular, connected services in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are limited to certain services supporting the Covid-19 response only.
The NHS login is for patients. It provides assurance to patients using a service via the NHS login that:
- the service they are accessing has a health or social care benefit
- it is commissioned, contracted, or sponsored by an NHS organisation
- it is free at the point of delivery
Information for patients can be found by following this link. This includes a short video and a helpful step-by-step guide to registering. There is also a useful website dedicated to help those using/registering for an NHS login which patients can also be directed to.
Information for health and social care staff on getting started with the NHS login can be found by following the link provided here.
Benefits of the NHS login
Benefits of the NHS login include:
- patients can be assured their health and care data is protected under UK government’s data storage standards (UK GDPR)
- the NHS brand is widely trusted
- it supports one login for multiple services
- reduces burden on general practice to verify a patient’s identity for online service access
- identity verification is taken care of for commissioned providers of health and care apps and websites
- it supports the best use of technology as a tool for better, safer, and personalised health and care services
Registering for NHS login
There are three levels of NHS login classed as low, medium, or high which correspond to the varying levels of verification and resulting functionality, as summarised in the table below.
Procedure and functionality
|The patient registers using an email address and a mobile phone or landline number. This means they have an NHS login with the lowest level of identity verification. The patient is allowed to do simple tasks like getting general medical advice through various services/apps, like the NHS App.
|The patient will be asked to enter their NHS number, date of birth and the postcode of their home address as registered with their GP practice. If they do not know their NHS number, the patient can enter their name instead. NHS login then checks the information against the to find the corresponding NHS number. The medium-level verification allows patients to do things like contact their GP or receive notifications. It does not provide access to health records or personal information.
The patient must prove who they are to gain access to health records or personal information. To do this the patient has four options:
Full details of these four methods can be found on the NHS website, along with a list of currently accepted forms of photo ID.
Why some patients need GP online registration details for NHS login
Patients may ask for their GP online registration details from their surgery to create an NHS login in the following instances:
- they do not have photo ID that NHS login can accept
- their ID check was unsuccessful, or their details could not be matched to their GP record successfully
- their previous online registration details have expired
- they prefer to use this method rather than the ID and video method
- they have moved practice recently, and originally verified their identity for NHS login using GP online details
- the practice has recently changed clinical system supplier
Practices can use their clinical system to generate online accounts for patients, and patients can then use these details to create an NHS login. The method for verifying identity is the same as for GP online services. You must continue to follow the in these cases.
The process for giving patients the registration details they need to set up NHS login is slightly different, depending on which clinical system you use.
NHS Digital (NHS Digital became part of NHS England in February 2023) has provided some brief GP clinical system-specific guidance. You can get more detailed technical information from your system supplier.
NHS login does not apply age restriction to services that require low or medium-level verification. Users must, however, be over 11 years of age to pass the highest level of verification and gain access to their personal or health information.
Guidance on online access for children and young people provides further information on making decisions on when a child may be given online access. An article on competence regarding and children and young people can also be found in the BMA ethics toolkit.
Some integrated care boards (ICBs) and practices may have more restrictive guidance on giving higher levels of online access to people under the age of 16. It is important to follow local guidance which may reflect particular risks in your area.
The NHS login site has been designed to be accessible and simple to understand. Patients are also able to use British Sign Language (BSL) and written numbers during the registration process for an NHS Login.
Patients can access their practice if they have difficulties signing up or registering.
Full details can be found on the NHS login accessibility statement web page.