Joining NHSmail

Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of ways to join NHSmail. We have held a number of information sharing webinars with organisations interested in joining NHSmail. You can download the slides from these webinars by clicking here or download a recording of the webinar by clicking here. The question and answer log from these webinars can be found by clicking here. For additional information of each of the joining options, please review the content below by click on each of the expandable folders.

  • 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 Business Case Template

    This document provides organisations with a business case template. The template content includes scope, approach, benefits and risks.

  • 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.

  • 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


    From 1 December 2016, existing NHSmail Local Administrators (LAs) stopped registering new NHSmail accounts for community pharmacy premises and staff and an interim local process was introduced to support the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service pilot; this will be used until a new national process is rolled out by NHS Digital in 2017. Details of the new national process will be published here shortly.

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

    Community pharmacies that wish to obtain NHSmail solely for the QPS will need to use the national registration process due to be available from spring 2017.

    It has been agreed that pharmacies which have emailed NHS Digital to apply for NHSmail before and including 1 February 2017, and can provide evidence of such, to meet the first review date on the 28 April 2017, will be accepted. The out of office message pharmacies will have received when submitting their application will suffice. All other pharmacy applicants will receive their NHSmail as soon as possible after April and before 24 November 2017.

    Being able to send and receive data via NHSmail is one of the four ‘gateway’ criteria for the QPS which allow a pharmacy to become eligible for payments under the scheme.

    If you wish to apply for an NHSmail account for your pharmacy in order to meet the Quality Payments Scheme NHSmail gateway criterion, please email with the following information:

    Information Required
    Trading Name of Pharmacy
    Owner's Name
    Address (for the premises the NHSmail address will apply to)
    Pharmacy ODS code
    Pharmacy Telephone Number
    Current Pharmacy Email Address

    Please note: Pharmacy contractors with multiple pharmacies may submit this information via one single communication providing details for each pharmacy premises. Further details will be requested by NHS Digital to identify the number of staff personal email addresses required for each pharmacy including regular locum staff.

    Registering community pharmacies and pharmacists to support the NUMSAS pilot:

    To support efficient roll out of NHSmail for the NUMSAS pilot a phased, interim local approach has been adopted for the allocation of NHSmail accounts while the new national process for NHSmail is being implemented.

    Using this interim process, NHS England’s regional teams are contacting pharmacies in phases to enable them to register for NHSmail accounts and mailboxes in order to qualify for the NUMSAS pilot.

    Community pharmacies can register to provide the NUMSAS (details are available via via the NHS Business Services Authority website at A pre-requisite for NUMSAS is a ‘premises specific’ NHSmail shared mailbox.

    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.

    The phased NUMSAS roll-out timetable which NHS England is working to is:

    Phase/ Date Area

    Phase 1: December 2016/January 2017

    Brighton & Hove CCG
    Guildford & Waverley CCG
    Blackpool and Fylde & Wyre CCGs
    Nottingham City CCG
    Peterborough &Cambridgeshire CCG

    Phase 2: January/February 2017

    East of England
    Lancashire and Manchester
    Cheshire and Merseyside
    Cumbria and North East

    Phase 3: FebruaryMarch 2017

    South East Coast
    Central Midlands
    West Midlands
    East Midlands
    South West

    Phase 4: March 2017

    Yorkshire & Humber
    South Central (incl. Isle of Wight)

    Priority for issuing NHSmail shared mailboxes is being given to those pharmacies included in the NUMSAS pilot.

    The issuing of the accounts will be managed centrally. It is anticipated that during this interim phase a number of elements relating to NHSmail will be piloted, including the authentication process for a pharmacy premises.

    If your pharmacy is in one of the ‘phase 1’ CCG areas and you have not been contacted by NHS England and wish to provide NUMSAS, queries should be sent to your local NHS England Pharmacy Commissioning Team.

    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.

    Dispensing Appliance Contractors

    If you wish to use NHSmail, please re-visit this page in January 2017 when the registration process roll-out plan for NHSmail accounts will be available

    Dispensing Doctors

    The above information only affects community pharmacies (which include distance-selling pharmacies). If you wish to use NHSmail please contact your NHSmail local administrator via your CCG.

    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