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NHS England – Putting users at the heart of progress

    NHS England’s Transformation Directorate plays a significant role in the smooth running of the NHS. With so many services, across such a wide and diverse spectrum of problems, it is easy to see why technology is the answer to a lot of NHS problems. However, it is equally important that the technology is designed and delivered in a way that is empathetic to the people who use it. Bad design leads to poor technical choices and instead of helping, can have the exact opposite effect when trying to solve problems for patients and staff across the NHS. Hippo work together with the NHS across their digital platforms, making sure that users are at the centre of everything it does and every decision that is made.


    A new digital patient registration service was required to supplement the existing offline paper-based process. Available to all practices in England, the Register with a GP surgery service needed to support all registration types and provide those who want to register with a new GP the option to enter their data through an NHS managed online service and apply to their chosen surgery. GP surgeries needed to review incoming registrations and process new patients into their practice.
    Registering with a GP is the first step in accessing a wide range of health and care services, including the NHS App. The new online service needed to make it possible for people across England to register in a simplified and standardised way.


    Working in blended teams to help deliver the new online registration service from Alpha through to Public Beta Hippo provided:
  • User-centred design leadership
  • Guidance on passing CDDO service assessments
  • Accessibility specialists
  • Flexible squads to resource the needs of the delivery
  • Build and implementation of a performance framework for the service

A laptop with the user interface of a form for G.P. registration, seeking a postcode to start the search process.


    People can now find a GP and then apply to register for themselves or someone they care for through GP websites, the NHS website or the NHS App. In the longer-term, this will also automatically come through to the GP practice’s clinical system. Early testing has shown the service has already reduced the application processing time for practice staff, while offering patients more choice, convenience, and consistency in the way they register. The service is reducing the time it takes for patients to register with a GP surgery. It is also creating more ways to access healthcare for users with different needs who may have traditionally faced extra barriers.
    This has helped the NHS project team to deliver against ministerial targets as well as broader healthcare ambitions to improve the NHS experience of both patients and GPs.
    The service is well positioned to rapidly scale in order to meet the needs of its users and it has now processed over 712,000 patient registrations in over 2000 surgeries across England. [Correct as of 21 November 2023]
    This service has the potential to become the primary means by which patients in England register with a GP. This would deliver on a long-term aim of improving healthcare for everyone and considering different access needs.
    Patterns and tools like the performance framework, which were built for this service, are now being gradually applied to other services across the NHS based on their effectiveness. This is supporting other strategic initiatives in citizen health technology that the NHS is keen to deliver on.