Registration Authorities and Smartcards
RA Team - 01332 868867/868866
The NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS) and related National Programme for IT (NPfIT) services like Choose and Book and the Electronic Prescription Service use a common approach to protect the security and confidentiality of every patient's personal and health care details.
It is essential that everyone who will have access to patient information has been through the same rigorous identity checks.
The NHS has set out the principles that will govern how patient information is held in the NHS CRS and the way it is shared.
These are outlined in the NHS Care Record Guarantee and will be reviewed at least every twelve months as the NHS Care Records Service develops.
Organisations that need to access patient information within the NHS Care Records Service and other National Programmes set up Registration Authorities to manage this process.
The Registration Authority is responsible for verifying the identity of health care professionals and workers who wish to register to use these services.
Once authorised, individuals are issued an NHS CRS Smartcard by the Registration Authority. Individuals use their NHS CRS Smartcard and their Smartcard Passcode each time they log on.
NHS CRS Smartcards
NHS CRS Smartcards help control who accesses the NHS CRS and what level of access that they can have.
They are similar to a chip and PIN credit or debit card, but are more secure. A user's Smartcard is printed with their name, photograph and unique user identity number.
To register for a Smartcard, Registration Authorities are required to ask applicants for identification which satisfies the government recommended standard 'e-Gif Level 3', providing at least three forms of ID (photo and non-photo), including proof of address.
Individuals are granted access to patient information based on their work and level of involvement in patient care.
This means that for example, a doctor's receptionist may only see the information needed to process an appointment, not the full clinical record.
Each time someone accesses a patient's record, it will be recorded and patients can formally request to see this information.
Staff will also continue to be bound by professional codes of conduct, local regulations, the Data Protection Act and the NHS Code of Confidentiality.
For information on registration authorities from the Connecting for Health site, please click here
Policy and Procedures -click here
Audit Tool - click here