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A blueprint for a connected health and care system

Posted: 30-11-2020

In 2019, the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS) selected Patients Know Best and NHS Digital to develop a partnership solution which would offer their population all the PKB features, functionality and data, inside the national NHS App interface. As a result, PKB became one of the first products to integrate with NHS login’s new encrypted single sign-on and the first personal health record to integrate with the NHS App.

Read the full case study here: 


The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS) co-designed and pioneered this integration in March 2020. The integration supported the ICS to fulfil the requirements of their Public-Facing Digital Services mandate for empowering local people to better manage their health, to self-care, self-manage and self-serve. However, the launch came as the impact of the global COVID-19 crisis was being realised. This propelled registered patients to safely self-manage their care, with full control over who could see their information and provide support remotely. It also allowed families to stay connected with their loved ones being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit at Sherwood Forest Hospital.

A full benefits analysis was carried out which looked at quality and safety, reduc tion of inequalities, and cost and efficiency savings. Value for money was measured using a return on investment (ROI) calculated at 6:1. The ICS identified that using PKB and the NHS App integration to increase digital processes and interac tions, and to support the local population to access digital services, attributed to:

A national first

In 2019, Patients Know Best (PKB) partnered with NHS Digital to develop a landmark integration between the PKB personal health record platform and the NHS App.

This built on current features to give patients access to their PKB data and full functionality inside England’s national health app. As a result, PKB became one of the first products to integrate with NHS login’s new encrypted single sign-on and the first PHR to integrate with the NHS App. This functionality aligns with NHSX’s stated vision for the NHS App as a platform to integrate with and the ‘single front door’ to health and care services.

The Blueprint Model: ‘All-in-One’

The All-in-One integration from PKB and NHS Digital, empowers patients to seamlessly access their PKB personal health record inside the NHS App interface to self-manage and coordinate their care. For the first time this will give patients the benefit of accessing everything in one place, including:

All this and more is now securely available from the ‘digital front door’ of the NHS App interface using single sign-on and smartphone enabled biometric ID. Ian Phoenix, NHS Digital Director of Citizen Health Technology, said:

“Integrating personal health records with digital tools like the NHS App, underpinned by NHS login, will empower patients to have greater visibility and ownership of their own medical records – so they are all in one place and accessible to them whenever they are needed.”

A Novel Opportunity for Integrated Care Systems

For the 18 Integrated Care Systems in England, this integration presents a novel opportunity to join up information and systems like never before – not only across the ICS footprint but broader, wherever a patient receives care.

Joining up data and systems beyond the ICS, with the ability to share information between professionals outside of their host organisations, paves the way for a truly national ‘digital’ health service. However, to realise this vision for a unified national health and care dataset requires collaboration on an unprecedented level. For the first time, technology is no longer the barrier and together, we have the potential to radically transform the system to meet the needs of the future NHS.

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO and Founder of Patients Know Best, said:

“This integration brings the latest in digital innovation to local care, with England’s NHS App – one of Europe’s most deployed national health care apps and PKB as Europe’s most deployed personal health record platform. This has never been possible before now, and we’re proud of the contribution we have made towards Nottinghamshire’s person-centred approach.”

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS) became the first to benefit from the joint integration with regions across London, Sussex, Cheshire and the North West expected to follow the same model.

A mandate from the people of Nottinghamshire

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS

ICS members include;
• Nottingham City Council
• Nottinghamshire County Council
• City Care
• Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG
• Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
• Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust
• Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

In March 2020, the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS became the first ICS to launch the PKB – NHS App integration. It followed 18 months of public engagement to co-design the Connected Nottinghamshire Public-Facing Digital Services Strategy. Known locally as the ‘people’s digital services strategy’, it met the contractual and policy obligations of the ICS and established a citizen-centric digital health services programme that was locally-driven and designed around the needs of local people, to consider any socio-economic factors.

The outreach identified four key themes for empowering local people to better manage their health, to self-care, self-manage and self-serve:

NHS App logo
Nottingham City Council logo
Nottingham County Council logo
Patient Knows Best logo