Email is a useful tool for communicating and is excellent for sharing information day to day. Health and care information is very sensitive and must be adequately protected so Healthcare professionals can feel confident when sharing care records or information with care providers that it is secure and can only be accessed by the intended recipient.
NHSmail is a free, secure email system that is available to all CQC registered care providers in England who have achieved Approaching Standards on the Data Security and Protection Toolkit. NHSmail continues to be the preferred secure email for medical professionals to contact care providers with confidential information about the people they care for, for invitations for video consultations or virtual ward rounds. NHSmail has not been an integral part of care providers preferred communication and there has been considerable work undertaken to support the uptake.
There is a continuing need for NHSmail support as staff turnover at care providers is high, staff struggle to find time and to articulate what the issues are when speaking to NHSmail helpdesk. care provider staff often do not always have local administrators or designated IT staff to support digital initiatives.
The team work closely with care providers to support them in setting up secure methods of communicating with healthcare professionals through the use of individual NHSmail email addresses as well as a shared mailbox.
Since July 2022, we have given 1-1 support over 700 times via Teams, email, phone call or face-to-face which includes following up Care Homes to ensure NHSmail is in place, offering additional support and shared mailbox management.
NHSmail enables care providers to get on the digital roadmap to DSPT, proxy access, communicating with Healthcare Professionals and participating in other digital initiatives.
Care providers have responded positively to the comprehensive NHSmail support received. There is a constant need for further additional NHSmail support, as the staff turnover rate remains high, care staff struggle to find time and to articulate what the issues are when speaking to NHSmail helpdesk staff. Care provider staff often don’t have local administrators or designated IT staff to progress with other digital initiatives.
We are continuing to develop the understanding of secure email exchange across all Health and Social Care settings, which involves continuing to contact healthcare professionals to establish information that can be shared, promoting processes through communication and an engagement strategy as well as evaluating the current processes and successes with the implementation of NHSmail. This will support our future strategies to assess the impact of NHSmail pathways across health and social care.
Improves the safety, quality and efficiency of information sharing between Health and Social Care.
Care Homes have responded positively to adapting their ways of working to adopt NHSmail to share information securely with healthcare professionals.
Reduces call volumes between care providers, GP Practices and other healthcare professionals when enquiries can be made and managed via secure NHSmail as well as timelier access and response to resident information.
Increases digital confidence of Care Home staff to activate and utilise individual NHSmail accounts and using the location’s shared mailbox.
Enables access to other digital initiatives such as proxy access for ordering medication online, remote observations and digital social care records.
“The Digital Social Care Team walked me through the whole process of getting NHS mail set up for myself and my staff. One of the benefits is that emails to the pharmacy no longer need to be encrypted. We now send NHS to NHS email.” – Care Home Registered Manager
“Thank you for helping set the Care Home up with NHS mail. It’s great being able to use NHS mail to send letters for insulin changes now when previously we had to print and hand deliver them which was time consuming and not an effective use of clinicians.” – Diabetes Nurse
“It was great getting face to face support to give more staff access to NHSmail and to see how we can use the shared mailbox.” Care Home Manager
“As a company we don’t all have email addresses, now the staff are able to use their NHSmail as a secure way to communicate with the GP.” Care Home Manager