Long time lurker here but I am a GP in the NHS in England so hopefully can give some insight into vaccine passports.
General Practice in the UK has been highly computerised for many years and the systems that we have are generally very good. GP surgeries are a bit simpler to digitise than hospitals so we have tended to be ahead. The systems were mostly written by GPs to start off with and they continue to be quite focused. They can be limited because other parts of the NHS are not as advanced and interlinks between systems are very poor indeed.
Vaccinations don't use GP systems but actually do have pretty good reporting. They are based on some of the flu systems from the past so did not re-invent the wheel. A vaccination given one day will appear on the GP system the following afternoon. That is really handy for me co-ordinating invitations etc. This is why you need your NHS number
for a vaccination.
Access to these records is a bit of a guddle at the moment. There are three main systems that GPs use and each has its own app. There are also some third party apps and an official NHS app. Exactly what is displayed depends a little on the app and a lot on what the settings are at the practice. Setting up access is a complicated topic but there tends to be a default which can later be manually changed. Annoyingly it is impossible to change the access for everyone, it all has to be done individually.
Whilst there is not a system in place for anyone to accept these for immigration this is simply not a priority.
There are suggestions that the NHS App
will be used to display the data in an appropriate format. Whist the back office stuff is likely to make it visible on other apps at the time it is not clear what format will be required for travel. I would suggest downloading the App and getting it set up. If you already have an NHS Login
(that might be used by other apps as well including if you are reporting the result of home lateral flow tests) then it should be simple. If you need to set up a new login there is a process to go through with some id checks that can take a day or so.
So please be assured:
- The data is there
- There is a lot of work going on in the background
- When there is an agreement on what a vaccine certificate looks like we should be ready to go