UK health service to launch digital “passport” to aid worker flexibility during pandemic response

UK health service to launch digital “passport” to aid worker flexibility during pandemic response

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is about to roll out new digital “passports” to act as a digital ID credential to provide staff with temporary flexibility to move between different healthcare organizations more easily during the coronavirus pandemic, HSJ reports.

The new credential is expected to be trialed “in the coming weeks” through a partnership between NHS England, NHS Improvement, and NHSX, according to a new COVID-19 guidance document for workforce leaders. The passport may be stored on the staff member’s smartphone, and include an embedded “license to attend” agreement and verified credentials.

“There will be no requirement for you [the NHS employer] to create a separate workforce sharing agreement if you don’t yet have one, and the digital passport with an embedded licence to attend will be available to participating employers nationally,” the guidance reads.

The passport was announced by the NHSE last September, after several successful pilots were conducted, according to HSJ. The additional strain on the system from the coronavirus outbreak appears to have prompted the implementation to be moved up.

The service began putting other measures into place to reduce the number of checks workers need to go through when transferring between organizations last July.

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