Number of care providers using NHSmail increases tenfold
September 4, 2019
The number of care providers using NHSmail, the NHS’ centrally-funded secure email service, has surged since the start of the year, from 97 providers to 1,076.
NHSmail is said to give staff in care homes the ability to securely share residents’ data and queries with doctors, nurses and GPs in the NHS, and get timely responses. It also connects them securely to pharmacists, dentists and anyone else in health and care with a secure email, such as an NHSmail account.
The system can be accessed from mobile devices as well as desktops and includes a full directory of all NHSmail users.
Last year, an ‘Entry Level’ of the Data Security and Protection Toolkit was released, with record numbers of care providers signing-up and gaining access to NHSmail.
NHS Digital’s Social Care Programme formed a partnership with the Care Provider Alliance to work nationally with all care providers to help them embrace the digital agenda. This has included sector-led guidance for completing the different levels in the Data Security and Protection Toolkit, which can be found on the new Digital Social Care website.
In London, the NHSmail system supplier Accenture has been working with the Healthy London Partnership to support staff in the care sector to access NHSmail through guidance and face-to-face support, and has developed an approach to be offered nationwide.
Fatma Makalo, centre manager for Bridgeside Lodge care home said the home was using NHSmail and it was working so well.
“It is bringing a feeling of integration and you don’t feel like you are working in isolation,” said Ms Makalo.
“Now you feel like you can have a conversation with a colleague. Everyone knows the system is there and they are using it very well.”
NHS Digital deputy chief executive Rob Shaw said the ability to communicate quickly, securely and effectively with colleagues across the sector meant real benefits to staff and better care for the people they supported.
“It is great to see so many care organisations taking advantage of the benefits that NHSmail offers,” said Mr Shaw.
“I have heard accounts of care providers talking to pharmacists about their residents’ prescriptions and communicating securely with doctors to get a quick medical opinion and many more.
“There is still a long way to go on this journey, but this is a fantastic start.”