NHS service standard - 11. Choose the right tools and technology

Choose tools and technology that let you build a good service in an efficient, cost effective way.

Build a sustainable service which allows you to change direction in future.

Why it's important

When you make a decision about technology, you're making a significant investment. The choices you make will have a huge impact on your ability to create, iterate and operate the service in a flexible, sustainable way.

What you should do

When considering technical architecture, choice of programming languages, development toolchain and other technology choices, your team should be able to show that you:

  • use appropriate tools and technologies to create and operate a good service in a cost effective way - for example, by automating things where possible
  • use HTML5 by default
  • have made good decisions about what technology to build and what to buy
  • understand tech decisions that have been made outside your team and challenge these decisions where it will improve the service
  • understand total cost of ownership of the technology and have kept the ability to make different choices in future - for example, reducing the chances of getting locked into contracts for specific tools and suppliers by using open standards
  • use standard NHS technology components where possible, for example the NHS login for identity assurance
  • have an effective approach to managing any legacy technology the service integrates with or depends on


GOV.UK resources

Read more about this

Other help

Get in touch

If you’ve got a question about the NHS digital service manual or want to feedback, get in touch.

Updated: December 2019