We’re very excited to be able to announce that the Apperta Foundation, (which was formerly the NHS England Open Source Programme) has agreed to provide NHSbuntu with initial support funding of £40k, in order to facilitate the initial few work packages required for NHSbuntu’s next few steps.

Details of the work packages will be published shortly, and we are of course open to community suggestions for future work packages. Initially we’re focusing on setting up good tooling for reproducible automated builds of NHSbuntu, and adding some new features.

Future work packages will include the badly-needed support for the NHS Identity Agent (Smart Cards) to enable connection to the NHS Spine and access to Spine-based clinical applications such as the e-Referral Service, e-Prescribing, and others. The good news is that we’ve already done a lot of work towards this and have made significant progress already. ‘Generic’ smart cards are already well supported on Ubuntu, so the main work has been to unravel some of the NHS-specific issues. We’re working with NHS Digital on these actively and we’ll keep you posted.

We’re also tremendously excited to be working closely with the Ripple Foundation and have been invited to become part of the 1% Open Digital Platform Challenge Fund campaign. If you’re reading this then you’re probably someone who already believes in the power of open source, open standards, open interfaces, and open platforms, so please do read more about the campaign on the Ripple site and spread the word.

More news on that one to follow. Suffice to say however, it’s been an interesting few weeks for NHSbuntu.