Joining NHSmail

Please note that all information on this page is for individual users and organisations in England. For information specific to Scotland please contact

An information sharing webinar for organisations wishing to join NHSmail was held on 2 May 2017 with the aim of helping organisations to meet the secure email standard by migrating to NHSmail. The webinar covers the different migration options available to organisations – self-migrations, supported migrations and managed migrations. It also covers the technical questions frequently asked, as well as providing organisations with clear next steps to progress their migration to NHSmail.

You can view the slides from this webinar by clicking here. To access a recording of the webinar click here, and to view the information sharing webinar frequently asked questions log click here. For additional information of each of the joining options, please review the content below by clicking on each of the expandable headings.

  • If you are an individual member of staff working in a trust or other organisation that already uses NHSmail and you want to register for an account, you should contact your local IT helpdesk in the first instance. Your helpdesk can register an account for you. If your local IT helpdesk cannot help, please contact the NHSmail helpdesk (

    In order to use NHSmail, all users must adhere and agree to abide by the rules set out in the NHSmail Acceptable Use Policy.

  • Overview

    An increasing number of health and social care organisations are adopting NHSmail as their primary email system. They do this to save money on running duplicate local email systems that NHSmail can replace and because they want to use their expert IT staff resource for managing other more complex IT projects, such as upgrading Electronic Patient Record systems.

    Accenture and NHS Digital have worked together to produce the tools and materials to support organisations on-boarding to NHSmail. You can reference all of this documentation below.

    Further information on the Self-Service migration can be obtained by making contact with your organisation’s Implementation Support Manager. Additional detail for the Partial and Managed migration can be acquired by emailing your queries to

  • NHSmail On-boarding FAQs

    This document provides information on the typical frequently asked questions (FAQs) from organisations looking to join NHSmail.

  • Project Initiation Document Template

    This document has been developed to assist Organisations who are wishing to migrate to NHSmail with their Project Documentation.

  • Migration Service Options

    The NHSmail Service will offer numerous options to on-board organisations onto the service; self-service migration, partial managed migration and managed migration. This document provides an overview of the migration offerings.

  • Organisation Self-Migration Guide

    Provides the outline and guidance for organisations to follow in order to be successful and achieve the migration using a Self-Service Migration approach.

  • Self-Migration Project Plan

    This document is a project plan template for organisations who have opted for a Self-Migration approach. It allows organisations to follow a structured project plan.

  • Managed Migration Service Overview

    This document will provide the overview for the Managed Migration option and the service which is able to be provided by Accenture in order to achieve the migration for the organisation.

  • NHSmail Migration Checklist

    This document provides a checklist of activities for organisations migrating to NHSmail.

  • Guide on Safely Transferring Data into NHSmail

    Activities to be carried out before commencing the movement of data into the NHSmail service to reduce the risk of transferring undesirable content, including Malware.

  • As more non-NHS organisations take part in delivering NHS-funded care, their commissioners are also making it a requirement that information sharing is secure – and therefore making it a condition of contract that NHSmail is used as the means to share information between care providers. The basis on which staff working in a non-NHS organisation can be granted access to the NHSmail service is contained in the NHSmail Access Policy.

    If you think your organisation qualifies (or if you have any questions about your eligibility to use NHSmail), then please complete the form within the NHSmail Access Process Document, and read and sign the Acceptable User Policy and send them both to If you are eligible to join, a member of our team will help get your organisation started.

  • NHSmail can be used by Optometrists or Dentists (ODs) to safely and securely exchange patient or sensitive information with other health and social care professionals. Please read through all of the information below and then follow the steps in section one to get started. Please note the information below is applicable to Optometrists and Dentists in England only. If you are based in Scotland please contact

    To register for an NHSmail account: if you work for an optometrist or dental practice only

    1. Fill in the application form. Once complete, email the form to your regional NHSmail contact (Excel). Note: if you work for a national chain of Optometrists or Dentists, you still need to apply for accounts locally on an individual basis
    2. Your regional contact will review your request, make sure they have all the information they need and then pass it to the appropriate NHSmail Local Administrator (LA) to set up the account.
    3. If you aren't eligible for an account they will let you know. You may not be eligible for an account if you only need to exchange patient or sensitive information on an infrequent or ad hoc basis with health and social care organisations, or if you already use another email service that is publicly funded.
    4. Before you are registered you will need to have completed the Information Governance toolkit. If you are registering as part of a practice, only one person per practice needs to do this. If you are registering as part of a group of practices, only one nominated headquarters needs to do this. This is an accreditation that is required for access to any NHS national service to ensure that these services remain secure. Please see:
    5. Your LA will contact you with details of your new account and how to activate it. The LA will text you a security code and then call you with your account details. Once you have confirmed the security code you have received, they will give you your username and a password which you will need to change the first time you log in
    6. If you have registered a number of accounts for your practice, the LA can allocate administrator rights to one or more of them if required – this will allow that account holder to unlock accounts and reset passwords
    7. Once you have activated your account and logged in you will find a welcome email.
    8. You can set up a shared account for your practice or site. The email address will always end but you can specify the part of the email address before the @ sign. As an example, the email address for John Smith of the High Street Dentist could be with the display name (the name displayed to the recipient in their inbox) 'SMITH John (High Street Dentist)'. A shared email account for that Dentist could be (High Street Dentist)

  • NHSmail can be used by pharmacists to safely and securely exchange patient or sensitive information with other health and social care professionals. Please note the information below is applicable to England only. If you are based in Scotland please contact


    NHSmail are supporting NHS England with the mass enablement of secure email accounts for pharmacies. The phased rollout commenced on December 1 2016 to support the NUMSAS (National NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service) implementation. Parallel processes have also been designed to establish a waiting list for NHSmail accounts to be set-up for pharmacies wanting to utilise the Quality Payments Scheme.

    Since 1 December 2016, community pharmacies have been able to register to provide the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) Pilot. Details of the service are at A key requirement to register for the service is a ‘premises specific’ shared NHSmail mailbox, and pharmacy staff will need individual user accounts to enable access to the shared mailbox.

    The NHS England Quality Payments Scheme is a new element to the NHS England Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, which will reward community pharmacies for delivering certain quality criteria. For a pharmacy to become eligible for any payment under the Quality Payments Scheme it must first meet four “Gateway” criteria, one of which will be that pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must be able to send and receive data via NHSmail. The first review date for the scheme will be the end of April 2017 and, for this review, evidence of application for an NHSmail account by 1 February 2017 will be acceptable.

    Registering community pharmacies and pharmacists to support the NUMSAS pilot:

    To support the efficient roll out of NHSmail for the NUMSAS please contact your local NHS England Pharmacy team who will provide you with an online URL to complete your NHSmail registration using Citizen Space.

    All applications previously submitted, do not need to re-apply and you will receive your account details shortly.

    Registering community pharmacies and pharmacists to qualify for the Quality Payments Scheme (QPS):

    If your pharmacy applied for an NHSmail account before 1 February 2017 in order to register for the Quality Payments Scheme your request has been recorded and you will receive an invitation to complete your registration during May 2017.

    If your Pharmacy applied for an NHSmail account after the 1 February 2017, or is yet to apply, you will be able to do so once the Pharmacy registration portal is launched for new registrations, which is expected to commence during July 2017.

    Pharmacy Multiples

    Pharmacy multiples are being asked by NHS England to confirm their organisations intent to provide the NUMSAS service. Following confirmation, NHS Digital will invite the lead Pharmacy contact (known as Super User) to complete and return a registration spreadsheet along with a data sharing agreement so that the Pharmacy administration team can set up the Pharmacy store’s shared mailbox and user NHSmail accounts.

    If your Pharmacy applied for an NHSmail account after the 1 February 2017, or is yet to apply, you will be able to do so once the Pharmacy registration portal is launched for new registrations, which is expected to commence during July 2017.

    An alternative automated solution is available, whereby the Pharmacy administration team can confirm account notification directly to Pharmacy users. To establish the automated method, it is required that the lead Pharmacy contact completes the spreadsheet to include a mobile phone number for all users requesting NHSmail.

    Please note that a requirement for being provided with the NHSmail shared mailbox is that the pharmacy is meeting its requirements of their terms of service in relation to information governance

    Registering community locum pharmacists

    Accounts will be requested on your behalf by the pharmacy participating in the NUMSAS pilot. If you require an NHSmail account outside of the NUMSAS process you will need to wait until the new national process is available. The NHSmail encryption tool is available to share sensitive information as an interim solution and guidance is available at Locum pharmacists will be able to access NHSmail shared mailboxes via their personal NHSmail account. Details on how to set this up will be available shortly.

    Registering hospital pharmacists

    Pharmacists based in NHS trusts should continue to contact their NHSmail local administrator via their IT department to register for NHSmail accounts.

    Guide for pharmacies using NHSmail

    If you are new to using to NHSmail, please see this guide

  • NHS Digital is working to ensure information flows efficiently and securely across the health and social care system, to improve patient and service user outcomes. The Care Homes and Secure Email Project was set up to look at improving the flow of information in care homes. It provides a welcome opportunity to work in partnership with social care, Local Authorities and the Independent Sector, to achieve the benefits from the secure email options that are now available. The project is a major step forwards in this process.

    The Need

    It is recognised that the information sharing 'on the ground', despite areas of good practice, can be done more efficiently. Organisations are spending too much time and energy handwriting, posting and often faxing information, raising issues about time and security that could be improved for the benefit of citizens, staff and organisations.

    The Care Home Secure Email Toolkit

    In collaboration with the Care Provider Alliance (a group of leading provider associations which represent independent and not-for-profit providers of social care services), an online toolkit (PPT, 2.5MB) has been developed for care homes considering using NHSmail. The toolkit uses the lessons learnt from the pilot to show how care homes can email resident information securely, with other partners also using secure email, i.e., what an organisation needs to do to adopt and use secure email. The toolkit is available in a beta version - which means we are still developing and refining the content. If you have any feedback on the toolkit, please email us at A final updated version will be uploaded here in early 2016. A guidance document (DOC, 498.5kB) for Local Administrators (LAs) who are required to approve Care Home requests to join NHSmail is available for reference.

  • If you are a junior doctor wanting to join NHSmail, you should speak to the IT department of the organisation that you will be working for on your first rotation. If you have any issues, please contact