Support

Service Status

Last updated: 21/07/2017 11:30

This page provides you with up-to-date information on the status of the NHSmail services and any key known issues impacting users.

It is recommended that you continue to check these pages throughout the transition period.For further information on any High Severity Service Incidents (HSSI) please refer to the NHS Digital Service Status Page (via N3 connection).



Email Gateway/Relay Status
Incoming Internet Email
Outgoing Internet Email
Internal NHS Email
NHSmail Status
Portal (administration tools)
Outlook Web Access (www.nhs.net)
Email Client Access (Outlook)
Mobile/Tablet Access


Skype for Business - Skype for Business Instant Messaging and Presence (IM&P) has been enabled for all users on the NHSmail service. In order for users to access the service, Local Administrators need to ensure that users have the Skype for Business client installed on their desktop/laptops or be able to download the Skype for Business mobile application. These are the only access methods for using Skype for Business.

As previously communicated, Local Administrators and clinical and information governance teams will need to carry out a number of activities so users can start utilising the service. These are detailed in the bulletin that was issued to Local Administrators on 16 January 2017.

There are a number of support materials available for Users and Local Administrators:




High Severity Service Incidents

In the event of High Severity Service Incidents (HSSIs), information will be provided in this section. You can also see any HSSIs raised within the last 7 days.

  • Threat: Malware Delivery Campaign Using Spoofed NHS Email Addresses

    CareCERT is aware of a recent spam email campaign which uses spoofed @hscic.gov.uk and @nhs.net email addresses to deliver a malicious link which, when clicked, downloads a malicious JavaScript attachment containing malware.

    Example email:

    You have received an invoice from PLACE HSCIC (HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INFORMATION CENTRE) [SPOOFED EMAIL ADDRESS] for £3,534.49. To view, print or download a JS copy of your invoice, click the link below:

    [LINK TO MALICIOUS URL]

    Best regards, PLACE HSCIC (HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INFORMATION CENTRE)

    [SPOOFED EMAIL ADDRESS]

    Malware Name: Trojan.Script.Heuristic-js.iacgm

    Malware file hashes:

    • MD5 3b8927da0cdca9e657e3d75fc9cb862a
    • SHA1 016be72b4cf73850dceee1c83f88656de7064578
    • SHA256 2a24f47fde8ed12f583cddb3da17068e3d5e6587bd0bf3fb4ea6338606200d92

    Remediation for Users:

    • Do not open attachments or follow links within unsolicited emails.
    • Verify the legitimacy of any requests via email by contacting the sender through official channels.
    • Report any suspected spam email to NHSmail at spamreports@nhs.net using CareCERT Best practice guide: Reporting suspicious/unsolicited/spam emails within the NHS.
    • If you suspect your computer has become infected with a virus then unplug the network cable, turn off your Wi-Fi or power down your computer and immediately report the suspected infection to your IT support provider.

    Organisations Should Ensure:

    • A robust program of education and awareness training is delivered to users to ensure they don’t open attachments or follow links within unsolicited emails.
    • All operating systems, antivirus and other security products are kept up to date.
    • All day to day computer activities such as email and internet are performed using non-administrative accounts.
    • Strong password policies are in place and password reuse is discouraged.
    • Network, proxy and firewall logs should be monitored for suspicious activity.

  • Threat: CareCERT (NHS Digital) is aware of Social Engineering Targeting CCGs and GPs which NHS employees need to be aware of.

    Attackers are setting up email accounts registered on webmail services such as Hotmail in the name of an employee at a CCG/GP practice or supplier.

    The attacker uses the email account to target a staff member at the CCG/GP (for example a GP Practice Manager) to convince them to transfer funds to a UK bank account.

    Generally untargeted spam emails containing malicious attachments are easy for the trained eye to spot, whereas targeted (spear fishing) campaigns can be much more convincing: The attacker establishes a dialogue and the user expects a response containing instructions, a link or an attachment which they are likely to act upon.

    Remediation: If you receive an email from a familiar organisation or contact which you believe to be suspicious (such as an unusual payment request) from an organisation:

    • Do not open attachments or follow links from suspicious emails.
    • Validate the request by contacting the organisation or person through normal established channels (e.g. make a phone call or manually navigate to the organisations website.)
    • Report all suspected spam to NHSmail via spamreports@nhs.net for analysis and blocking.

    For further information see:

  • SPAM Emails Containing Phishing Website Links: NHSmail 2 support teams have identified a series of SPAM emails containing phishing website links being sent to users. An account with a nhs.net address is claiming to be from an IT Support Team and is asking users to verify their account by providing their credentials and password. This is not from the NHSmail2 support team. Users should never click any provided link to verify their accounts. This account has now been deactivated but certain user's may have received an email with a provided link.

  • Outgoing Internet Email – Blacklisting: NHSmail is periodically experiencing issues relating to blacklisting. Please review the Known Issues below for further information.

  • 20/07/2017 09:20 - Slow response whilst using Portal administration tools - INC700045004506: Users reported issues with the Portal administration tools running slowly. Administration activities can be conducted although the response is slower than normal. Resolved: 20/07/2017 10:15 Following investigation, the performance of the Portal administration tools is now operating within expected timescales.

  • 17/07/2017 10:00 - Slow response whilst using Portal administration tools - INC700044984747: Users reported issues with the Portal administration tools running slowly. Administration activities can be conducted although the response is slower than normal. Latest Update: 17/07/2017 17:30 Following a period of monitoring, the incident has been resolved.

  • 07/07/2017 10:30 - Intermittent issues sending emails externally - INC700044929043: Users reported issues with sending emails to external sources. Following investigations it has been confirmed that this was due to a single independent email reputation service blocking outbound traffic to recipients covered by their service (blacklisting). Resolved: 10/07/2017 17:00 Incident resolved following a period of monitoring across the weekend and throughout Monday with no further re-occurrence.


Portal Releases, Known Issues and Guidance

The NHSmail Portal in now live. Please see the current known issues outlined below:

  • Issue Description: When an account is created through the Portal user interface, using the Portal .CSV Upload tools, or via TanSync, the account remains in a status of Pending instead of becoming Active.

    Latest Update and Guidance: This issue remains under investigation, but the NHSmail team are taking regular action to correct this problem and in many cases without further action being required from the Local Administrator.

    During each working day our engineers are correcting accounts that remain in the status of Pending. This activity occurs in the morning, at lunchtime and late afternoon. With this in mind, we would ask that Local Administrators allow time for this process to complete and re-review the status of the account later in the day before choosing to raise a support ticket with the NHSmail Helpdesk.

    Following the account correction the vast majority of accounts will become Active, however a few accounts may become Disabled or may require removing from the Portal.

    • For Active accounts, no further action is required.
    • For Disabled accounts the Local Administrator should Enable them. They will then become Active.
    • If an account can no longer be found in the Portal, it will require re-creating but the chosen email address will be available to choose again.

  • Issue Description: When performing a simple search whilst trying to add a user to a Shared Mailbox, a Static Distribution list, or within Admin section (Local Administrators only) the results take an excessive amount of time to return or the search times out.

    Latest Update and Guidance: There is a known issue with the Simple Search options at peak times and this is looking to be optimised in a future Portal release. When adding users to Shared Mailboxes or Static Distribution lists please where possible use the Advanced Search using the email address of the user you are trying to add. Local Administrators have an additional option to support the activities they perform that is impacted by this simple search issue. LAs could run a Mailbox extract (Reports -> Mailbox Report) so they can then identify the users email address in that extract and search for it directly in Advanced Search so the result is found much quicker.

  • Issue Description: There is a known issue with Dynamic Distribution Lists whereby a DDL cannot be created or edited and no error message is presented.

    Latest Update and Guidance: When the DDL is attempted to be created or edited, the page becomed unresponsive for a short time before returning to the DDL page. This is caused by a timeout issue when a DDL rule targets a large number of recipients. A fix to this issue is currently being worked on with a view to release in a future Portal release.

    In the meantime, if it is crucial that a DDL requires creating or editing, please raise a request with the NHSmail Helpdesk quoting the DDL email address and the rule that you wish to apply. The DDL will be created/amended as requested by an engineer.

  • Issue Description: The Dashboard Report was a new feature deployed to the Portal on the 4th July 2017. As of the 21st July 2017 the Dashboard Report has been removed from the Portal Reports list whilst a review is undertaken which may revise the format and data included.

    Latest Update and Guidance: The report is under review and will be re-enabled as part of a future Portal release.

  • Issue Description: Following the deployment of the new feature to enable Dynamic Distribution Lists to target users based on their NHSmail Portal Administration roles on the 4th July 2017, it has been identified that not all users with a valid Administration role are being picked up in the receipient list.

    Latest Update and Guidance: This issue has been investigated and a fix has been proposed that is under review. In the meantime, if user wish to create distribution lists that target specific NHSmail Portal Administration roles then please revert to the practise employed prior to the deployment of this feature. To aid identification of users with Administration roles, LAs can run the 'Organisation Admin Report' in the Reports -> Admin Reports section of the Portal.

  • Issue Description: When running a Mailbox Report the 'LastLogIn' date shown is incorrect.

    Latest Update and Guidance: Root cause of the issue is under investigation by the Support teams. PBI700000414125 has been raised to track this.

  • Issue Description: When navigating to a Pending Static or Dynamic Distribution List via Profile > Distribution Lists then Administrators may not see the ‘Approve’ or ‘Reject’ buttons.

    Latest Update and Guidance: If you are an Administrator and have a Static or Dynamic Distribution List requiring your review you must find it by navigating to Admin > Distribution Lists. Do not attempt to approve by going via the Profile area.

  • Issue Description: It has been identified that a small number of accounts are getting stuck in the status of either Enabling or Disabling when an account is being attempted to be Enabled or Disabled in the Portal. Problem references PBI700000413347 and PBI700000413348 have been raised to investigate the root cause.

    User Impact: When accounts are stuck in either of these two statuses the Local Administrator will be unable to carry out a password reset or unlock and the end-user will be unable to log into their NHSmail account.

    Latest Update and Guidance: If after leaving the Portal record in the User Management screens and going back into the effected account details the status is still showing as Enabling or Disabling, the Local Administrator should attempt to Disable the account again and wait for confirmation that the action has been successful. If the aim was to disable the account not further action should be required. If the aim was to Enable the account, then the Local Administrator should click on Enable again to complete the process.

    In the event that this process is still unsuccessful then the Local Administrator should log a ticket with the NHSmail helpdesk for support.

  • Issue Description: When an end-user is having difficulty logging into the NHSmail Portal and has tried to use incorrect or expired credentials the account will lock for security purposes after 12 attempts and require support from a member of the Local IT Helpdesk or a Local Administrator to unlock and if necessary carry out a password reset. However, from the point of the last login attempt that has caused an account lock it can take up to 5 minutes for the updated account status (Locked) to be reflected in the NHSmail Portal.

    User Impact: If after the number of incorrect login attempts have been made a password reset is carried out prior to the Portal reflecting the Locked status, the account will not be able to be logged into with the temporary password given.

    Latest Update and Guidance: Please can Local IT Helpdesks and Local Administrators wait 5 minutes from the last attempted login to be sure that the account status has been updated successfully? This will ensure that accounts are in the correct status before a password reset is performed.

    If it is suspected that an account has hit this issue, the Local IT Helpdesk or a Local Administrator should re-check the account status. If the account showing as Locked, perform an Unlock and if necessary a further Password Reset. If the account is Active, please log a ticket with the NHSmail Helpdesk for further investigation.

  • Issue Description: There will be a delay of 15 – 20 minutes from when a user is removed as a shared mailbox owner to when their access is revoked.

    User Impact: Users will experience a delay from when they remove shared mailbox ownership to when access is actually removed.

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    Users should allow 20 minutes after removing access to a shared mailbox before the change will take place.

  • Issue Description: User wants to edit existing permissions to a shared mailbox but is unable to do so via Outlook Web App.

    User Impact: Shared mailbox owners who are not administrators will not be able to manage existing shared mailbox permissions. A Local Administrator for the organisation the mailbox is associated with will be able to view and manage these permissions through the Portal on the owners behalf.

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    Users wishing to manage permissions of existing shared mailboxes will need to request that their Local Administrator or Local IT Helpdesk makes the desired changes.


Portal Release - 4th July 2017

The following fixes to existing defects and new Portal features were deployed on the evening of Tuesday 4th July 2017:

  • 6937: Leaver/Enable/Disable/PasswordReset actions not updating 'LastUpdated' timestamp. – When a user’s status was changed the action was not updating the ‘LastUpdated’ timestamp unless the update button was pressed.

  • 6555: Locked Accounts Scheduled Task failing – the task that updates accounts to locked in the portal from AD/Exchange failed intermittently.

  • 6863: Distribution Lists Does Not Open – Users with capitalised UPN are unable to load Distribution Lists.

  • 6877: The MarkedAsLeaver date in Mailbox Reports has inconsistent formatting across dates – mailbox reports were showing MarkedAsLeaver date in MM/DD/YYYY and DD/MM/YYYY formats.

  • 6953: People Finder not showing 'Local Helpdesk' role in the LOA list – Organisation pages in people finder results now showing any ‘Local Helpdesk’ users or accounts in the results.

  • 6959: End User Shared Mailbox List Not Loading in some cases – some users were not getting any results when searching for owned mailboxes via their profile.

  • 7037: Create User First name and Last name validation is not correct – Firstname and Lastname fields are allowing characters such as

  • 7038: New accounts not correctly configured for SfB – portal incorrectly applying the SIP address as a proxyaddress instead of populating the dedicated SipAddress attribute.

  • 7164: Organisation dropdown control is displaying a different style from other controls in Edge and FF – drop down arrow not consistent with other fields.

  • 7188: API allowing nhs.uk users to be created as user accounts (via TANSync). Incorrect local configurations of TANSync were sending create requests for nhs.uk users which the Portal API allowed.

  • 7189: UPN Getting saved in uppercase while updating user if we are hitting API directly not from UI. - CSV and TANSync were able to create uppercase UPN values which caused some issues view SDL and wasn’t consistent with the UI.

  • 7276: DL - Last Updated date not reflecting in DB – last updated date was not updating when updates were made.

  • 7303: Fix issues with Demo, Int and Dev2 – resolve local environment issues.

  • 7327: Non-Admin users unable to update Authorized sender section – owners now able to amend the authorised sender options of DL.

  • 7327: Non-Admin users unable to update Authorized sender section – owners now able to amend the authorised sender options of DL.

  • 7433: Organisation email address not allowing special characters – some email addresses fed from ODS containing ‘-‘ which triggered organisation validation errors.

  • 7556: Output of authenticate user action doesn't refresh based on updated input – changing values in the authenticate user screen didn’t update the tick or cross to reflect input.

  • 7614: When users add an symbol to the DL name when editing, the DL will no longer update.

  • 7644: LOA’s are unable to add recipients to SDL’s where the recipients are outside the organisation the SDL belongs to – cross organisation users can now be added to a SDL.

  • 7676: Unable to manage features under the "Manage Organisation" page. – adding new departments was throwing an error around invalid email address. Add button was also unavailable for orgs with addresses over 65 chars.

  • 7688: Issue with user picker while creating DDL – hitting the return key while attempting to search in the target users triggered the confirmation to save the changes. Return key now triggers the search when it is populated.

  • 147: Wipe Device Data – Admins will be able to Wipe Device Data remotely to protect the NHS and it's patients in the event a device is lost, stolen or otherwise compromised.

  • 5134: DDL Based on Admin Role – DDL rule can now be added to target specific roles (Global Admin, Global Helpdesk etc).

  • 5994: Update Contact Pages – changes to the create/edit contact pages to make them more consistent with the wider create/edit pages.

  • 6050/7657: People Finder - Advanced Search – additional fields to filter a query on People Finder.

  • 6383: Dashboard Report – new report with organisational data for Global and Tenant admins. This report is currently not available to run whilst a bug is under investigation.

  • 6388: Audit for Admin Report Read – An audit action is now logged when an admin report is downloaded.

  • 6423: User Admin UI Updates - Make behaviour consistent as to whether you are sent back to the user edit screen or user list screen - when performing an action (apart from update) the user should always be navigated back to the edit user screen.

  • 6866: Update Shared Mailbox Name tooltip to remove ambiguity – updated to clarify around special characters which was causing confusion.

  • 6871: Persist Audit Search Results – when retuning to the audit search page after viewing results the previous details remain populated.

  • 7170: Add 18 Days to Password Expiry Countdown – password expiry emails now send at 18, 10, 5, 2 and 1 days prior to password expiry.

  • 7184: Add SIP Address to Contact – contacts can now be populated with a SIP address (telephone extension for a VOIP system).

  • 7298: Calendar Permissions - All NHSmail Users – new setting tab on organisation pages to allow configuration of calendar permissions that apply for All NHS users. Can be enabled/disabled only by Global Administrators or Tenant Administrators. If your organisation wishes to enable this feature, contact feedback@nhs.net

  • 7299: Calendar Permissions - Inside My Organisation - new setting tab on organisation pages to allow configuration of calendar permissions that apply for users within the organisation. Can be enabled/disabled only by Global Administrators or Tenant Administrators. If your organisation wishes to enable this feature, contact feedback@nhs.net

  • 7565: Add Site to ElasticSearch Information for Users – site attribute now passed to people finder pages.

Portal Release - 8th May 2017

The following fixes to existing defects and new Portal features were deployed on the evening of Monday 8th May 2017:

  • 6009: Fix for error that was thrown when trying to administer a shared mailbox/delegated mailbox where a deleted member was still listed as a member.

  • 6136: Fix to enable the SecondaryEmailAlias (subdomain branding) filter in the organisation detail pages.

  • 6140: Fix for organisations (GP Practices) under CCG’s not showing in organisation drop downs and administrators unable to see users assigned to those organisations.

  • 6550: Fix for import SDL members to use the DomainController variable correctly.

  • 6772: Fix to prevent users accessing Shared Mailboxes and Distribution lists via profile page if the AUP is not accepted and security questions not set.

  • 6781: Fix to set the alias correctly for name changes in exchange.

  • 6785: Fix for Global Admin/Helpdesk accounts preventing distribution lists displaying where an owner was not present.

  • 6788: Fix preventing external contacts being added as an owner to SDL.

  • 6794: Fix preventing Tenant Admins from updating organisations where they were in a pending state so short name couldn’t be updated/approved for new additions.

  • 6865: Fix to enable the Organisation column in advanced search on the user picker pages.

  • 6867: Restoring accounts intermittent in Pre-Prod environment.

  • 6873: Fix to limit the number of characters input in the security questions/answers fields.

  • 6936: Fix to 'add myself as owner' on distribution lists.

  • 6944: Remove stray quotation marks from the Admin Reports page.

  • 6960: Fix to display the correct quota used for users in the admin screens to match the correct value displayed in OWA.

  • 6968: Fix for TanSync connections timing out.

  • 6971: Removal of the ‘Out of Office’ button on shared mailbox pages.

  • 7040: Fix to send password reminders 10 days prior to expiry, previously was only sending for 7, 5, 2 and 1 days.

  • 7041: Fix for audit results being limited to 200 rows.

  • 7072: Fix for transferring shared mailbox to a child org with the same short name.

  • 7091: Fix to allow email addresses with hyphen characters in the organisation details

  • 7092: Fix to advanced search on organisation search so it holds the selected value.

  • 7155: Correction of a typo on the CSV Upload page.

  • 144: Adds a link to the Edit User screen to navigate to a page showing details of the mobile devices.

  • 149: Gives NHS Administrators the ability to block a mobile device.

  • 2131: A new admin report which shows potential duplicate users. This report shows records where there are more than 1 person with the same first and last name in an organisation and the status is active.

  • 4097: Applies Skype for Business policies to new accounts and address book segregation.

  • 5276: Users must accept AUP before being able to send emails. A non-delivery report will be issued if a user sends mail and hasn’t accepted AUP. This applies to new accounts only.

  • 6192: Adds description field to shared mailbox details page. Once submitted this is visible in People Finder and the Notes field within Exchange.

  • 6281: Adds a tooltip to the organisation drop down lists informing the user the list is limited and searchable.

  • 6412: A new admin report showing the administrators for the selected organisation.

  • 6556: Enabling and Reset Password actions now unlock the account (if locked) so multiple actions aren’t needed on locked accounts.

  • 6703: New users are now set with cached mode for Outlook Anywhere enabled by default.

  • 6791: Department and Street address now limited to 64 characters to match exchange.

  • 6817: Update to the AUP text.

  • 6849: Update to guidance on the import functionality on SDL advising the user the list will be refreshed with what is imported rather than new additions being applied.

  • 6856: Disable the help content pages so only internal logged in users can view some of the content. Pages ending in -i are now restricted to logged in users (.e.g https://portal.nhs.net/Help/module2-i).

  • 6879: Changes to the search logic for non-admins in the shared mailbox search screens to match the rest of the user picker functionality and behaviour.

  • 6938: Addition of visual impairment functionality on the authenticate users screens to benefit users with a screen reader enabled.

  • 6943: Added new organisation types to the drop down in advanced search.

  • 6949: Deleted items quota is now set to the size of the mailbox quota for newly created accounts.

  • 7089: Added Skype for Business meeting branding images.

  • 7090: Added ability to set users as leaver in bulk.

Portal Release - 17th February 2017

The following fixes to existing defects and new Portal features were deployed on the evening of Friday 17th February 2017:

  • 6384: The 'Last Updated' timestamp on the User Details page is now updated following the 'Delegate Mailbox' action.

  • 6690: Real-time Security Question validation shall now correctly catch the use of special characters.

  • 6398: The Portal shall now correct User First Name, Last Name and email address capitalisation to the correct format for both manual and CSV submissions.

  • 6697: Portal validation shall now allow Contacts to be created containing an apostrophe (') in the email address.

  • 6698: Search Audit results shall now be limited to the specified target object, where before other objects were present.

  • 6413: The Portal shall now set the MarkAsLeaverDate attribute to NULL when a User Joins an Organisation.

  • 6704: The 'Mark As Leaver' button on the User Details page shall now only be enabled and clickable when the User status is Active or Disabled

  • 6714: The People Finder About Us section for Organisations shall now display carriage returns (newlines) correctly, as configured in the Organisation Description.

  • 5207: The User Picker results shall now persist in between pages, meaning the previous selection shall not be lost.

  • 6786: The User Management and Contacts index pages now show their title header and image, which has been restored.

  • 6126: Contacts may now be updated, transferred and deleted in the UI.

  • 6269: The error message displayed when attempting to delete an OU containing objects has been made more user-friendly.

  • 5987: Report generation for the Mailbox Report against 'All my organisations' has been improved to reduce the chances of a timeout issue when run at a Tenant level.

  • 2154/6615: A new 'Topup Report' is available to run under the Admin Reports page. This report displays for a given organisation the current and past subscriptions held by users.

  • 6422: A new 'Add Myself As Owner' checkbox is available on the Create Shared Mailbox and Create Distribution List pages. Clicking it will automatically add the logged in user without needing to resort to the User Picker.

  • 5876: The User Details page has a 'Show Mailbox Statistics' link under the Status area. Clicking this shall display a Mailbox Details page containing information such as mailbox space usage.

  • 6729: Advanced Search on the Organisations list page shall now provide a drop-down list for Country rather than a free text field.

  • 6425: The List Pages (User and Mailbox List, Contact List, Distribution Lists, and Organisations) shall by default return results sorted alphabetically on Display Name or Name as appropriate.

Portal Release - 25th January 2017

The following fixes to existing defects and new Portal features were deployed on the evening of Wednesday 25th January 2017:

  • 5663: On the Create User and User Details pages the Title drop-down now allows 'Miss' as a selectable option.

  • 6013: The Manage Organisation Page will list the correct Parent Organisation for a Child OU, where before was incorrectly naming the Child OU itself as its own parent.

  • 6044: Fixed a UI issue on the User Details page where a removed admin role would re-appear after adding a new admin role.

  • 6177: Fixed a People Finder issue where Admins were being listed as Local Administrators for their Parent Organisation when they did not have such a role.

  • 6396: Fixed a UI issue where the Create User page was displaying a blank option under the Email Alias drop-down.

  • 6408: Fixed an issue with Contact Advanced Search where searching across a combination of columns was not limit results properly.

  • 6409: Fixed a UI issue where the Distribution List Advanced Search did not display an input header for Owner.

  • 6439: Fixed a validation issue on the Create Distribution List page that was allowing special characters in a Static Distribution List name.

  • 6109: The Edit Organisation Page has a new Description tab allowing free text entry of information that shall be displayed under the Organisations’ People Finder page under 'About Us'.

  • 6183: The People Finder page for an Organisation now displays the role next to each Local Administrator name.

  • 6441: (Technical Feature) The SIP attribute shall be updated to match the email address whenever a user is created, changing primary email address, or restored

Portal Release - 16th December 2016

The following fixes to existing defects and new Portal features were deployed on the evening of Friday 16th December 2016:

  • 6297: People finder not showing site details as per OWA When a user is assigned to a site, the address details of this site are now shown in People Finder results (where prior the root organisation address was given). This now matches what is returned by OWA.

  • 6290: Nonadmin unable to edit ddl Non-admin owners of a DDL will have permissions to edit Dynamic Distribution Lists when this functionality is re-enabled for the user populace.

  • 6271: Secondary Email alias are not removed when user marked as leaver When a user is marked as a leaver any related secondary email aliases will now be removed.

  • 6048: Convert Contact to User A new ‘Convert to User’ button is available on the Contact Details page. Clicking this shall pre-populate a Create User form with the contact’s details. Submitting this form shall remove the contact and create a new user from its details.

  • 6183: Export Static DL members to CSV A new ‘Export Recipients’ button is available on the Edit Distribution List page to download all Static Distribution List members to a CSV file.

  • 6041: Add site to new user Ability to link a site to a new user when first creating their profile.

  • 6313: Update User, Contact and DL List Searching to Match User Picker The User Management, Contacts and Distribution Lists pages shall now behave in the same way as the User Picker; there shall be no auto-search on load, there shall be no auto-complete upon typing, and results shall be remembered between page loads. A new ‘select all’ checkbox has also been added to bulk select all Active users only.

  • 6315: Update Remove Link in UI dialog boxes In various place within the UI where individual elements may be removed (for example Static Distribution List members) the ‘remove’ link has been replaced with a red cross icon and tooltip.

  • 5605: Column Picker Persistent The List User, Contact and Distribution List pages shall now remember the visible columns and order between page loads.

Portal Release - 27th November 2016

The following fixes to existing defects and new Portal features were deployed on the evening of Sunday 27th November 2016:

  • 6139: Distribution List Name Check Isn't Using Shortname The organisation shortname is now included in the comparison when checking if the name is free for a new/updated Distribution List (for example ‘org.allstaff’ is now checked if in use, rather than ‘allstaff’).

  • 6142: Creating or updating a shared mailbox with "." in email name truncates the email address Email of a new/updated Shared Mailbox is no longer cut when it includes a “.” character.

  • 6191: Shared Mailboxes Are Not Displaying An Error When Extra Trailing Space Appears in Name Where before no feedback was given, an error message is now shown when a space is accidentally included at the end of Shared Mailbox name.

  • 5606: Make Selection on User Picker Easier Using the user picker selection has been made simpler through adding a ‘select all’ checkbox to the top left of the picker table, and allowing individual selection through clicking anywhere within a row.

  • 5779: Organisation Unit Breadcrumbs not showing in user detail pages As well as UI improvement, it is more clear which child/parent organisation the account is associated with by showing breadcrumbs in the organisation unit.

  • 6101: Report Updates Some additional fields have been added to the Mailbox and DL reports, and dates changed to UK formatting.

  • 6116: Order OUsOUs in the tree view are now alphabetically ordered.

  • 6287: Update link to OWA to resolve Exchange issue A critical error shown for some users when selecting options (e.g. Print) from within Outlook Web App Email has been resolved.


Skype For Business Known Issues

The key known issues affecting the Skype for Business desktop / mobile application are outlined below. These known issues are seperated out into Instant Messenging and Presence (NHSmail core service) and Audio and Video Conferencing (NHSmail additional service):

Instant Messaging and Presence

  • Issue Description:'Send a meeting' invite from Skype for Business option does not work for users who have outlook configured on their local machine (both via N3 and Internet)

    Latest Update and Guidance:This is expected behaviour whilst audio and video conferencing is not enabled. Users do not need take any action.

    Steps to re-create:

    1. User right-clicks on a contact in their contact list
    2. User selects ‘Schedule a Meeting’

    This results in no action being taken.

  • Issue Description:Once the address book download is completed (approx. a day across platform), the user can search contacts within their organisaiton and Instant Message each other without having the need to add them in their local contacts list. Only applicable to thick client.

    Latest Update and Guidance:Users should use the full email address for searching for their contacts until the address book download is completed.

    Steps to re-create:

    1. User searches for another user in Skype for Business using only first and surname before full address book sync has completed

    This results in the user receiving the error message ‘Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current.’. The user should search using the full email address when searching for users in the Skype for Business IM window. When searching for any users external to a user’s organisation, they should always search by email address.

  • Issue Description:Users on Windows XP platform will not be able to use desktop clients. To avoid compatibility and latency issue during IM they're advised to use web clients (> IE 9.0)

    Latest Update and Guidance:The product is not compatible with Windows XP. Please refer to the Service Configuration Guide.

  • Issue Description: Users receive an error message similar to “Cannot synchronize address book” or “Skype for Business can’t sync with your organisation’s address book right now”. This address book synchronisation failure is due to a bug in Microsoft Office 2016.

    Latest Update and Guidance: There is a requirement for local IT teams to update MS Office to the latest version to fix this issue. Users should speak with their Local Administrator for further guidance.

Audio and Video Conferencing

  • Issue Description: The Skype for Business mobile application does not support content sharing through peer-to-peer calls when one participant is on a desktop device and the other on a mobile device.

    The issue does not impact Skype for Business meetings but only direct peer-to-peer calls from the Skype for Business desktop application to the Skype for Business mobile application.

    User Impact: Users on a mobile device will be unable to view content being shared on a peer-to-peer call. The user on the desktop will be unaware that the content is not viewable unless the mobile device user notifies them.

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    Guidance for Users: Rather than initiating a peer-to-peer call, the desktop application user should use the 'Meet Now' feature in Skype for Business and invite the mobile user to join the Skype for Business meeting by following the instructions below:

    1. Open the Skype for Business desktop application
    2. Click the drop down arrow next to the settings icon and select Meet Now

    3. Add people to the meeting by clicking Invite More People
    4. Type the name or email address of the person you want to add in the box. Select the correct user from the list and click OK
  • Issue Description: Users who are enabled for Instant Messaging and Presence-only cannot join the audio/video for Skype for Business Meetings. The Skype for Business desktop application will launch and join the call, but no audio/video will be available.

    User Impact: The user is unable to join the audio/video of the audio/video for the Skype for Business Meeting.

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    Guidance for Users: The user should join the call via the Skype for Business web application as a guest. User should follow the instructions below to join as a guest:

    1. Open the Skype for Business Meeting from Outlook / Outlook Web App
    2. If available in the meeting invitation, click Skype for Business Web App as per the screen shot below.
    3. If this link is not available in the meeting invitation do the following;
      • Right click on Join Skype Meeting and select Copy Hyperlink .
      • Open a new browser window
      • Paste the copied URL into the browser box and add ?sl=1 at the end e.g. https://join.nhsmeeting.com/meet/ted.jones/V5T8957J?sl=1
      • Press Enter to open the meeting via the Skype for Business web application.
    4. Click Sign in as a guest to the meeting

    5. Click to download the Skype for Business Web App plug-in if not previously completed

    6. If the meeting does not automatically launch in the web application, click Join the meeting
  • Issue Description: Occasionally, Skype for Business Meetings may not launch due to connectivity issues following clicking the Join Skype Meeting from a meeting invitation.

    User Impact: User is unable to join the Skype for Business Meeting.

    Guidance for Users: Users experiencing this issue should try joining again after 30 seconds. If this issue persists, users should contact their Local IT Support Team for further support.

  • Issue Description: When a user clicks Join Skype Meeting from a meeting invitation, they are directed to meet.nhs.net which subsequently launches the Skype for Business desktop application or web application as appropriate. In some instances, a security log-in will pop up. The user will experience that they are unable to log in using their NHSmail credentials.

    User Impact: The user may occasionally experience a security login pop-up when attempting to join a Skype for Business meeting. If the user attempts to log in, they will receive an error message.

    Guidance for Users: Users should click Cancel when faced with the security pop-up pictured below. Once cancelled, the Skype for Business desktop application or web application should launch successfully.

  • Issue Description: When joining a meeting via a telephone, Skype for Business commands can be controlled using a telephone keypad; for example muting your line by pressing *6. This is currently not supported by the NHSmail Service.

    User Impact: Unable to use key pad commands during a Skype for Business meeting when connected via dial-in (mobile or landline).

    Guidance for Users: Users are advised that they can still complete most of the dial tone actions by using the call options via their handset screen e.g. 'Mute' button on the device screen whilst in a call.

  • Issue Description: Shared Notes will not be available for meeting participants to view or modify content during meetings if all conference/ call attendees do not have OneNote installed on their PCs.

    User Impact: This may cause some confusion for users as the 'Shared Notes' option will still appear in the desktop application regardless of whether they have OneNote installed or not.

    Guidance for Users: Users are advised to capture meeting notes via a different method or install OneNote to utilise this feature.


General Known Issues and Guidance

This section provides information and guidance on the common issues and questions raised by users of NHSmail. You can use the dropdowns below to show more information on each of the issues

  • Issue Description: When attempting to send an email to an existing address stored in your email auto-complete selection list, or a new email address typed in manually, a non-delivery report is received stating that 'The email address you entered couldn't be found. Please check the recipient's email address and try to resend the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.'

    An example of the message received within the non-delivery report is as follows:

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    This kind of non-delivery report is typically received due to one of two reasons.

    • Firstly, the email address may have been typed incorrectly. Please double-check the email address you are sending to. If it is an NHSmail address, try adding the address from the Global Address List (click on the 'To...' button within the Outlook Client). If it is an nhs.uk address or an email outside of the NHS, please re-confirm with the recipient that the address you are sending to exists.
    • Secondly if looking further down the non-delivery report you see a message similar to the example below it is likely that the issue is caused by a corrupt auto-complete entry in the Outlook Client software which is easily corrected. Follow the guidance below to help correct this issue.

    Please follow the steps below to remove the auto-complete entry and then find the distribution list within the Global Address List (GAL):

    • Begin typing the name of the distribution list you want to use into a blank email within the Outlook Client software and you will see the auto-complete option similar to the following:

    • Click on the black cross to remove the entry from your Outlook Client auto-complete library.
    • Click on the To: button within the new email to access the Global Address List.
    • Type in the name or email address and click ‘Go’. Note: ensure that the ‘More columns’ radio button is chosen as shown in the example below which will search the email address column too.

    • Click the ‘OK’ button to return to your email. You should now be able to send successfully to the email address.

    In the event that this guidance does not resolve the issue, then please raise a ticket with your local IT Helpdesk or alternatively the NHSmail Helpdesk for additional assistance on this issue.

  • Auto-mapping is the automatic addition to the Outlook Client of any delegate or shared mailbox a user has security permissions to. The auto-mapping of mailboxes that a user has permissions to is enabled by design across the NHSmail platform. 

    The auto-mapping of accounts cannot be disabled on a per user basis, or across specific organisations. Mailboxes will be removed when the user’s permissions to the mailbox are also removed via the Portal by the mailbox owner or a Local Administrator. This decision has been taken to assist users with the adding of mailboxes they have permissions to access automatically rather than have to add mailboxes manually and to prompt the removal of the mailbox permissions after they are no longer required by the user.

  • When using the Outlook Client software connected to a local organisation domain, users should be aware that when prompted for NHSmail login credentials Outlook by typically offers the local domain username and only requests a password. NHSmail users should check closely the username that is being offered and if it is not your NHSmail email address choose the 'Use a different account' option to allow you to type in a replacement username (your NHSmail email address) and then add your NHSmail password.

    Likewise, when adding an NHSmail account to the Outlook Client for the first time the software defaults to the local domain username when following the account setup wizard. To add your NHSmail email address, simply start deleting characters from the email address text box and the window will expand to allow you to enter your NHSmail credentials.

  • Issue Description: The NHSmail Service experiences periodic issues relating to blacklisting. This is where external email and spam filtering services block email being sent from NHSmail to other email providers.

    Real Time Blacklists (RBL) is a measure employed across the industry to identify and block unsolicited (spam/phishing) email. There are thousands of RBL services operating using their own business rules. RBL services operate reactively and automatically blacklist network addresses. Receiving systems (e.g. other email providers) will typically check incoming email against one or multiple RBL provides. If the email is being sent from a listed system, the email is then rejected by the recipient system. Due to this, email to and from the Internet is never guaranteed for delivery.

    The NHSmail 2 Email Gateway has been designed to minimise the occurrences of RBL listing. Despite all the active design improvements there is still a residual risk that email across the Internet (i.e. to external domains such as Gmail) cannot be guaranteed for delivery. Over the last 4 weeks NHSmail has occasionally been blacklisted. Proactive monitoring is in place to identify when blacklisting occurs to ensure the NHSmail Team can respond as quickly as possible to apply for de-listing. The de-listing process is dependent on third party organisations’ process and can take several hours for the process to complete.

    User Impact: Users may receive a non-delivery receipt following trying to send an email to an external email domain - for example, firstname.lastname@gmail.com. Email sent to external domains that block NHSmail will not be received by the recipient.

    Guidance for Users:

    The NHSmail Team continue to work with the third party providers to apply for de-listing. This can take several hours for resolution. Users do not need to report these issues to the NHSmail Helpdesk.

    Guidance for NHSmail LOAs:

    The NHSmail Team continue to work with the third party providers to apply for de-listing. This can take several hours for resolution. LOAs do not need to report these issues to the NHSmail Helpdesk.

    If your organisation relies on sending or receiving email to and from the Internet, you should ensure:

    • You know which systems rely on sending and receiving email to and from the internet and the business impact for each system if email is blocked
    • Have a business continuity plan in place for business critical services
    • You have monitoring systems in place to detect message delivery issues
    • Your systems have the ability to re-send messages that have not been delivered both individually and in bulk
    • Those sending you email also have the ability to re-send messages that have not been delivered both individually and in bulk
    • Your organisation is able to sustain not being able to send or receive email for up to four days to/from internet addresses
    • Where you have a reliance on time critical guaranteed communication you should have alternative methods of communication in place such as system to system electronic data interchange N.B. SMS messaging is not a guaranteed or secure delivery method
    • Outgoing email is scanned for spam and antivirus before being sent

    Guidance for External Email Services (e.g. NHS.UK and secure government email services):

    It is highly unlikely that email delivery between NHSmail, secure government email services and N3 hosted NHS.UK email services will ever be impacted by blacklisting. However, we recommend that organisations whitelist the previously provided and current NHSmail deliver IP address to avoid receipt issues from NHSmail. This will reduce the residual, highly unlikely, risk of NHSmail being blocked by local reputational databases.

  • Issue Description: Based on feedback from our userbase, the NHSmail Service will be introducing controls in the future to prevent spoofing. This is where emails are sent to NHSmail pretending to be from an "@nhs.net" account, but are in fact not. As an interim measure, emails that are spoofing the Service will not be blocked, but will be stamped with the following message:

    There are no further configuration changes to email authenticity controls at this time. Advance notification and guidance will be provided to organisations prior to any restrictive measures being introduced.

    User Impact: Where an email is being sent to a user that is pretending to come from an NHSmail account, the email will be stamped with the message shown above.

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    Users do not need to take any action on these notifications. They are provided for informational purposes only by the NHSmail Team.

  • Issue Description: Some users are experiencing issues using the 'Autodiscover' function when adding NHSmail to Windows 8 and Windows 10 phones. The root cause is being investigated by the support teams. In the meantime a workaround available to manually add the account.

    Guidance for Users on Windows 8:

    To add an NHS email account to Windows phone 8, do the following:

    1. Select Settings.
    2. Scroll down and select ‘email+accounts’.
    3. Select ‘add an account’.
    4. Select ‘Exchange’.
    5. Enter your NHSMail email address in the ‘Email address’ field.
    6. Enter your NHSMail password in the ‘Password’ field.
    7. Select ‘sign in’ at the bottom of the screen.
    8. If this fails, press ‘sign in’ again.
    9. At the next screen, select ‘advanced’
    10. In the ‘Server’ field enter eas.nhs.net
    11. Select ‘sign in’
    12. Close Settings.

    Guidance for Users on Windows 10:

    To add an NHS email account to Windows phone 10, do the following:

    1. Select Settings.
    2. Scroll down and select ‘Accounts’.
    3. Select ‘Email app accounts’.
    4. Select ‘Add an account’
    5. Select ‘Exchange’
    6. Enter your NHSMail email address in the ‘Email address’ field, select Next
    7. Enter your NHSMail password in the ‘Password’ field.
    8. Select ‘sign in’ at the bottom of the screen.
    9. If this fails, press ‘sign in’ again.
    10. At the next screen, select ‘advanced’
    11. In the ‘Server’ field enter eas.nhs.net
    12. Select ‘sign in’
    13. Close Settings.

  • Issue Description: NHSmail users may experience reduced user interface performance whilst using the premium version of OWA with the IE8 browser via www.nhs.net. Refer to the Browser Version Guidance if you are unsure of which version you are using.

    It is recommended that those users who still need to use the IE8 browser to access NHSmail make use of the OWA Light user interface to avoid encountering issues. Some functions are not available in OWA Light, such as access to Shared Folders. You can find more information on the available functions in OWA Light in the Browser Comparison Guide.

    To Enable or Disable OWA Light with IE8:

    1. Click on the Settings icon at the top right of the screen and select Display Settings

    2. Select the ‘Outlook Web App version’ option then check the ‘Use the light version of Outlook Web App’ tick box.

    3. Finally, click on the ‘OK’ option at the top of the screen. You will then need to log out and log back into OWA to experience the light version.

  • Issue Description: Compatibility issues have been identified when using Outlook 2010 service pack 2. This issue mainly impacts organisations running Windows XP desktop machines, but compatibility issues may still be seen with later operating systems when running Outlook 2010 SP2. Organisations should be aware that Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. This means that this software is no longer tested when new software is released and is not provided with important security updates by Microsoft.

    User Impact: Users are continually prompted to enter their username and password even if they have enter the correct credential information, as per the screenshot below:

    Latest Update and Guidance:

    Guidance for Users: Users should contact their local IT support desk for guidance on this issue. As a workaround, users can access NHSmail using Outlook Web App at www.nhs.net.

    Guidance for LAs / Local IT: Outlook 2010 should be downgraded to Service Pack 1. Newer Service Packs (i.e. Service Pack 2) will cause the behaviour outlined above. Steps to downgrade to Service Pack 1 will depend on the current version of Outlook 2010 that the user is running.

    Steps for to remove with Outlook 2010 SP2 + KB3115127:

    1. Go to: Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Tick checkbox Show Updated (on the top toolbar)

    2. Select the Patch you want to remove and click Remove

    The correct working version of Service Pack 1 is: 14.0.6023.1000 (as per the screenshot below):