Public Services > Healthcare

Lancashire NHS trust trials authentication system

Charlotte Jee Published 20 November 2012

46 NHS trusts evaluating identity software

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is evaluating new software used to authenticate NHS employees when accessing key infrastructure.

The aim of the trial is that the community and mental health provider, along with 45 other NHS organisations evaluating the identity software, will help provide a 'reference architecture' allowing deployment lessons to be learned and shared with other NHS bodies.

The Identity Agent software allows NHS workers using Windows 7 or 8 to connect to the National Programme for IT's Spine infrastructure via NHS smartcards. Most NHS employees use Windows XP, but the new software will let them move to the newer versions of Windows. Microsoft said that this will result in higher productivity and efficiency and improve access to modern applications.

The Spine requires users to authenticate their identity in order to gain access to patient data. NHS Connecting for Health says that it is used by more than 27,000 individual organisations, including primary and secondary care sites, pharmacies, opticians, dentists and education and training establishments.

John Martland, IT shared services manager at Lancashire Care, said: "NHS trusts urgently need to modernise and provide patients with the best possible care at the best possible value. By using Identity Agent we can jump to the latest tools and pass on the benefits of those tools to patients by helping healthcare professionals to be most effective."

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