NHS Mail – Have you signed up for your free account?

Warwickshire County Council are currently working closely with the local CCGs to support care providers through the process of signing up for free NHS Mail accounts.

NHS Mail is part of a wider initiative to modernise the sector with the latest digital technologies and will be the primary means of safely and securely exchanging confidential information between professionals.

This makes it a key tool for connecting organisations across health and social care and the first step towards modernising how we work together.

Recent figures showed that the number of care providers using NHS Mail nationally increased tenfold during 2019 (from 97 to over 1,000).

You can read more by clicking here including feedback on how it improves the way providers work and drives more effective integration.

Key benefits for care providers include:

  • The ability to send and receive confidential information in a quick, safe and secure way (to other nhs.net email addresses and gov.uk)
  • Complete audit trail for the sharing of information
  • Use of a rich and user-friendly User Directory as a single source of contact information
  • Reducing the amount of time spent on the telephone to hospitals and GPs therefore freeing up time to care for your customers
  • Increased protection against data security breaches

Any CQC registered service provider commissioned to deliver healthcare or social care services are entitled to 1 generic account with up to 10 individual user accounts, all for free.

To claim their account providers first need to complete a DSP (Data Security & Protection) Toolkit. This is an online self-assessment of your organisation’s data security and protection arrangements which demonstrates compliance with the national standards for health and social care.

Completion of the DSP Toolkit also provides extra benefits such as:

  • Ensuring your data security arrangements are in line with GDPR requirements
  • Providing information for CQC KLOEs
  • Laying the foundation for possible further NHS digital opportunities to transform care e.g. accessing online records directly

Therefore completion of the DSP Toolkit and use of NHS Mail can also be seen as a future investment as well as helping protect your organisation against the risk of data breaches which can have huge repercussions including fines of up to 4% of annual turnover.

It is also important to be aware of the NHS decision to discontinue the use of fax machines by 1st April 2020. Therefore after this time NHS Mail will be the only way to securely and efficiently communicate with health professionals.

Many providers should have already received contact from WCC or the CCGs to support through the process of signing up to NHS Mail. If you do require further support around next steps please contact Jon Crowley to discuss what is available joncrowley@warwickshire.gov.uk.

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