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designed that way – and this will be user-centric as well. Tere is pressure to clearly get it delivered quickly but I want to reassure peo- ple that it won’t go live until we are happy that it is secure, it’s safe, it’s been signed off and that everyone’s happy with it. Because at the end of the day a Covid vaccination cer- tificate is part of a medical record; you’re carrying around a medical record on your phone and most people don’t currently do that.”


In terms of how the NHS has responded by pivoting to digital in a crisis, he says: “I think it’s been a staggering effort to be honest. Right from the when we started with our Covid response back in late Febru- ary 2020 when we started to pull together teams, and started to pull together data and where we are, I think the NHS has demonstrated its digital capabilities at its best. And I do say NHS. Tis is not an NSS delivery – this is various parts of the NHS coming together with the best of their digital teams to deliver all these systems and all these integra- tions. “We’re in a totally different place


to where we were 16 months ago and I’m absolutely thrilled with where we’ve got. We had to do it. We responded to a pandemic so digital is going to be a huge enabler as to how we were able to deliver these things at pace but I think it’s been an amazing job and I’d just like to see more and more digital get used.” He added: “I think the challenge


Mitchelson says: “When you look


at your certificate on your phone it will have all the usual QR scans and data and that means there’s a level of assurance around that data being correct. It also will connect right back so you will see who the certifi- cation body is as well. NHS Scotland will be the body that verifies that certificate to say that it’s valid.” In terms of how it will work for


ordinary people in different set- tings, the use cases are changing all the time, but it may well be that an airport traveller is scanned in through the usual passport check- ing points, which allows for onward travel with an airline. Tat would obviate the need for


I’ve got a full-time security consultant looking at the vaccine certificate app, every day, all day


Deryck Mitchelson, director of digital and security for NHS National Services Scotland


each airline to carry out oner- ous checks on passengers before embarkation. Mitchelson says there are a few things that need to “bot- tomed out” before launch, which is expected at the end of July or the beginning of August, and that some airlines may wish to rely more on a recent negative Covid test before boarding. “I think the world’s changing quite


quickly,” he adds. “Which is why we are tying in with the WHO and the green book standards because it means we’ve got the best chance of it being accepted by everyone.” He adds: “We’ve designed all


these apps with the help of a user base. Every single one has been


is going to be can we keep up the same pace? Can we continue to deliver in the way that we’ve been doing? Tat’s going to be the chal- lenge. Obviously we’re going to – we’ve got a new cabinet secretary as well, and that brings differ- ent challenges. Te last cabinet secretary was great to work with and this cabinet secretary [Humza Yousaf] is younger. Is he going to have a more digital first agenda? “Potentially we’re seeing some


of that at the moment. He’s asking some of these probing questions around what can we do. So yeah, I think we’ve moved on massively and we’ve got a huge journey ahead of us but hopefully that journey will be looking at a lot of the digital pathways and digital health trans- formation and we can get away from the Covid response.” l


FUTURESCOT | SUMMER 2021 | 33


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