Benefits of NHS Mail
Use of NHS Mail facilitates the safe and secure exchange of confidential information between key partners. As well as improving working relationships between health social care, it provides many other benefits to how care providers operate including increased efficiency and protection against data breaches.
NHS Mail is facilitated by NHS Digital and its development involved close work with social care providers to understand what really matters to care staff and how they currently communicate with health sector colleagues. This allows NHS Mail to tackle many of the communication issues currently experienced by care providers e.g. :
- Communicate with GPs directly rather than spending time on hold or waiting to check if a fax has been received. Non urgent questions can be emailed over and the conversation carried out when convenient to both parties. Email can also be used to securely share images or details for advice or decision making.
- Pharmacies can easily confirm that they have actioned a request received from the GP. Any checks can also be carried out efficiently therefore reducing the chance of prescription errors
- Hospital appointment letters can be sent digitally therefore not being missed– there can also be direct communication ahead of appointments re: any access requirements or special arrangements
- If hospital discharge summaries are missing or lacking information they can be emailed over by contacting the hospital directly
Studies of those local areas where NHS Mail usage has had time to embed shows a measurable impact in time and money savings. For example there is the potential to save 95 hours annually (or £2,500) by communicating with GPs directly via email; and 52 hours (or £988 annually) by receiving just two prescriptions per week from pharmacies electronically. There is an estimated annual time saving of 220,000 hours in those areas where NHS mail is already being used by social care.
Please click here to read a case study regarding the benefits experienced by Stanfield Nursing Home, Worcester where NHS Mail usage has been embedded for some time.
Did You Know?
NHS Mail users are also entitled to register for a Blue Light Discount Card which provides discounts both online and on the high street from large national retailers. To find out more visit www.bluelightcard.co.uk
Many providers should have already received contact from WCC or the CCGs to support through the process of signing up to NHS Mail and harnessing its benefits. If you do require any guidance around next steps please contact Jon Crowley to discuss what is available firstname.lastname@example.org