NHS Mail for Care Home Providers

It is vital that patient sensitive information is shared safely and securely between the agencies that care for individuals.

Many providers currently communicate via fax, particularly when contacting GP practices. Paper-based communication is not a secure delivery method and is also inefficient and slow.

The risk of breech of information governance has resulted in the NHS decision to discontinue the use of fax machines (with these being phased out entirely by 1 April 2020).

Therefore there is a national drive for health and social care professionals to sign up to the NHS.net secure email service.

NHS.net is a hugely important system enabler across health and social care. It helps support seamless care across community and hospital services by facilitating the safe and efficient exchange of information.

As a care home provider it will allow you to transfer confidential information with partners in the health sector (including GPs and hospitals).

Benefits of the system include:

  • Direct, timely, accurate and secure communication between home staff and GPs, NHS, MH & CHC teams etc
  • Increased patient safety
  • Improved audit trail for information
  • Rich and user-friendly contact directory (NHS Directory) allowing you to locate and connect with the right people outside your organisation
  • Saves time and resource for you in using paper based communication, giving you more time to concentrate on your core purpose of delivering care

NHS.net offers:

  • Free to use
  • 1 generic account (shared mailbox)
  • Up to ten individual user accounts per site
  • National NHSmail helpdesk available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

To sign up for NHS.net you need to complete the data protection toolkit, please see the high level summary of how to access NHS mail

  1. Care Providers register for an ODS code with the Exeter Helpdesk 0333200 helpdesk@nhs.net
  2. Care Providers register on the DSP toolkit dsptoolkit.nhs.uk/Account/Register
  3. Care Providers complete the DSP toolkit and provide sufficient evidence to meet the expected standard of assurance¨
  • Entry Level enables access to NHSmail
  • Standards Met enables implementation of other NHS systems
  1. Care Providers access the national NHSmail offer via the National Administration Service
  2. Local health & care organisations transfer and embed use of NHSmail for the transfer of patient information

Suggested approach to completing your submission

  1. Complete your local GDPR documents and process. Use the Care Provider Alliance guides and templates if you haven’t done this already (www.careprovideralliance.org.uk)
  2. Tackle the “Entry Level” questions first
  3. Use the hyperlinks to navigate (“CTRL+Home” takes you back to the top of the page)
  4. Note down those questions you can’t or don’t know how to answer – refer to CPA guidance or local leads if not sure
  5. Submit when the 16 Entry Level are showing as “Completed”
  6. Receive your code from NHS Digital
  7. Apply for NHSmail (https://portal.nhs.net/Registration#/careprovider)
  8. Keep going with the rest of your DSP evidence

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