Delivering NHS Digital’s highest priority

Developing the 2021 Covid-19 Pass API

The challenge

In March 2021, NHS Digital entrusted Burendo with a top priority: leading the development of the Covid Pass API. This API, integrated with the NHS App, would grant secure access to Covid-19 vaccination data for international travel, enabling safe reopening amid the pandemic. The tight deadline demanded a solution by mid-April, leaving little room for error. 

Our approach

Collaborating closely with NHS Digital, NHSX, and other partners, we embarked on a rapid discovery phase. Utilising tools like impact mapping, stakeholder mapping, customer journey processes, and wireframing, we tailored our approach to align with NHS Digital’s vision for accessible, sustainable, and cost-effective healthcare data access. 

This iterative and transparent approach involved continuous feedback from key stakeholders, ensuring everyone remained aligned with the project’s goals and methods. 

The results

By leveraging standard data pipelines and commercially available tools like Amazon services (AWS, Lambda, DynamoDB) and Git, we streamlined data collection and dissemination. The resulting API scaled seamlessly to national usage and exhibited zero downtime throughout the pandemic recovery. 

Importantly, in 2021 our API helped UK residents go on 19.1 million visits abroad. Over 140 million Covid Passes have been generated through the NHS App and website since launch, facilitating safe travel and contributing to recovery efforts.

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