NHS IT, Records and Data

06.04.20

NHS Digital streamlines NHS Smartcard access for new staff

New starters have been granted quicker access to hospital systems after NHS Digital permitted the use of a virtual Smartcard and streamlined processes for physical cards. This will prove particularly significant for the thousands of staff working at the new NHS Nightingale hospitals, who will need to be verified and able to access systems quickly.

NHS Digital centrally procured a virtual smartcard solution in order to make the licenses immediately available and ensuring NHS organisations can quickly access new physical smartcards.

To achieve this, the process for verifying new users has also been streamlined, whilst still maintaining security. This involves a remote verification system by video call, so that social distancing measures and remote working can be supported.

These measures will support NHS organisations to get new and returning members of staff onto NHS systems as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The virtual smartcards will be available centrally for organisations who need to support their response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

As well as providing easier access for staff, the virtual smartcards will also reduce contamination risk.

Physical smartcards and readers remain available and NHS Digital have put a range of measures in place to support their fast deployment, including offering to bulk print smartcards for organisations who need this support.

Patrick Clark, Programme Director for the Covid-19 Access Logistics Hub at NHS Digital, explains: “With the new virtual smartcards and our increased capacity to rapidly provide large volumes of physical smartcards, we hope to be able to provide the NHS frontline with the systems and services they need to meet the challenge posed by Covid-19.

“Our aim to is to be responsive to the needs of the NHS and social care and to put in place whatever measures possible to reduce their burden.

“We want to ensure that NHS staff don’t have to spend time thinking about things like smartcards or access to systems because the processes are in place to make this as easy as possible.”

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