NHS Photo Library
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 Access/Sponsor - FAQ
Help > Access/Sponsor - FAQ > Sponsor


Why do I need a sponsor?
Due to the sheer size of the NHS and social services in England, we do not have the resources to centrally check and authorise users. As an online resource, we also required a fast and automated registration process. Accordingly, we settled on the standard email suffixes, which allows for automated recognition of a DH or NHS employee, or a Public Health England employee.

As a statutory local authority social service I do not have an ‘nhs.uk’, 'nhs.net, 'phe.gov.uk' or ‘dh.gsi.gov.uk’ email address. How do I access the site?
Unfortunately social care services do not currently have a unique, standard email suffix and therefore require a sponsor as well. You can contact your local NHS Primary Care Trust and request access, or anyone with a 'phe.gov.uk' address and request access.

Who can I sponsor for access to the photo library?
As a NHS, DH or Public Health England employee you can sponsor third party access to the library. There should only be three different parties you need to sponsor:

  1. Colleagues at your Local Authorities Social Services department.
  2. Design or other communication agencies working on your behalf.
  3. Other third party not-for-profit or charity organisations that are working in direct partnership with you.

Please read the following FAQs outlining sponsorship responsibilities and alternatives to sponsoring partnership organisations.

What are the responsibilities of a sponsor?
As a sponsor you need to verify the legitimacy of the person you are sponsoring – are they one of the parties you can sponsor listed in the FAQ above? Once you sponsor a user, you are in effect acting as a gatekeeper to the NHS Photo Library. The system emails you their password that you can then pass on. Once the user has their password, they can access the library as they need without your involvement.

The only reason you may be involved again would be:

  1. If the user forgets their password, you will be emailed it again to pass on.
  2. In the event of an ‘audit’ we may ask you to re-verify your sponsorships.

Please remember when sponsoring users for the library that we have a duty of care to the people featured in the photographs. In most cases they are actual staff, patients and service users. They have agreed to feature in the photos for use by the NHS, Public Health England, social services and partner organisations.

What if I do not want to sponsor a person?
If you are uncomfortable about sponsoring a user, if for example, it is a one-off and limited partnership, you could do the following:

  1. Access the library yourself
  2. Create a lightbox (a collection) of relevant imagery
  3. Directly download these images and supply to the partner/third party
  4. Or, email the lightbox to the partner/third party, which they will be able to view and then advise you of which images they need

This alternative allows you to share the images with legitimate partners without actually giving them unlimited and continuous access to the library.

What if I want to cancel my sponsorship of a user?
Please contact the managers of the library, Capture Ltd (nhs@capture.co.uk) and your sponsorship will be cancelled.

I am still not clear on whether or not I want to sponsor someone?
Please contact the Department of Health (nhs.photo.library@dh.gsi.gov.uk) to discuss.