Creating a dynamic distribution list

Dynamic distribution lists are created from a number of pre-set rules and groups defined by the distribution list owner. When an email is sent to a dynamic distribution list, it will be delivered to everyone within the NHS Directory (i.e. NHSmail) who matches the criteria defined for the group

Whereas static distribution lists have a list of pre-defined recipients, dynamic distribution lists will deliver to recipients who match the criteria at the time the email is sent. The advantage of a dynamic distribution list is that it accesses live data from the Portal and therefore does not require active maintenance by the owner e.g. if people leave or join the organisation. However, unlike static distribution lists, it is only possible to set up dynamic distribution lists to include recipients on the NHSmail platform

There is no maximum number of users that can be included in a dynamic distribution list, but larger groups may need to go through an internal process of approval. When setting up dynamic distribution lists for a large number of users, the following controls are in place to ensure that these lists are checked and approved before they can be used

ConditionRule
The Dynamic Distribution List has more than 500 recipientsThe distribution list must have specific senders set, such that only the specified senders will be able to send emails to the distribution list
The Dynamic Distribution List has more than 50,000 recipientsWhen the distribution list is initially set up and with every subsequent change, it must be approved by a Global and Tenant Administrator
The Dynamic Distribution List has recipients in multiple organisationsWhen the distribution list is initially set up and with every subsequent change, it must be approved by a Local Administrator from each organisation. Note: For GP practices the approval shall come from the Parent Organisation, and not the Practice itself
A user who is not an Administrator sets up or makes a change to a Dynamic Distribution ListWhen the distribution list is initially set up and with every subsequent change, it must be approved by a Local Administrator

Creating dynamic distribution lists

1. Click Admin in the navigation bar at the top of the screen and select Distribution Lists from the drop down menu

Select Distribution lists from drop down

2. Click Add in the top left of the screen and select Dynamic Distribution List from the drop down menu

Dynamic Distribution List

3.Select the Owning Organisation from the drop down menu

Selecting owning organisation

4. If you know the Organisational Unit the distribution list belongs to, select an Organisational Unit (you may have to click the + to see lower levels of detail) and click OK

Select organisational unit

Handy Hint

You can click the minus sign (-) to collapse the list of Organisational Units to make the page easier to navigate

5. Type the Name of the distribution list

enter name of distribution list

The email address will be generated automatically
Note: Names must be less than 50 characters and contain no spaces or special characters. You cannot use the same name as that of another distribution list that is Active / Pending / Rejected.

To set an owner for the distribution list:

6. Click Add next to Owning Users

7. Search for the Owning User and click the tick box next to their name and click Select

Note: you can only select one owning user

8. Select Hide this group from address lists if you would not like the distribution list to display in address lists

9. Enter a Description for the Distribution List

enter description

Users will see this description when searching for the distribution list in the NHS Directory. There is a character limit of 250 including spaces

Setting authorised senders

1. Choose the category of authorised senders for this distribution list

Select relevant authorised senders

Warning

Be aware that if you select Senders inside and outside of NHSmail including the Internet any email address will be able to send emails to the distribution list

Only senders inside NHSmail: all users on the NHSmail platform will be able to send emails to the distribution list

Senders inside and outside of NHSmail including the Internet: all users inside and outside of NHSmail including anyone on the Internet will be able to send emails to the distribution list

Specific Senders Only: this allows you to specify which users are able to send emails to the distribution list. Note: you must select this if your distribution list will contain more than 500 recipients

If you choose Specific Senders Only:

2. Click Add next to Authorised Senders

adding authorised senders

3. Use the search box to find the account you wish to authorise

Refer to the Searching for an Entry section for more information

4. Tick the names of all the authorised senders you want to add and then click Selectselecting authorised senders

Handy Hint

If you make a mistake with the list of senders, click the red cross to remove them

Adding recipients to Dynamic Distribution Lists

Recipients are added to dynamic distribution lists based on a number of rules that can be grouped together. You can add multiple groupings of rules to distribution lists

1. Click Add Rule

click add to add a rule

2. Select the first condition for the rule using the first drop down list (e.g. Organisation)

3. Select from the drop down whether the condition is ‘equal to’ (=) or ‘not equal to’ (!=)

4. Select the second condition for the rule from the drop down list (e.g. the specific organisation)

Based on the rule above, all users from the organisation selected , within the NHS Directory  would be added as recipients to the distribution list

You may wish to add additional rules e.g. recipients must work in a specific site address, post code or department . To set additional rules within the same group:

5. Click Add Rule and repeat steps 1-4. Select AND from the drop down if all rules must apply / Select OR if at least one rule must apply

select one from the drop down box

If AND is selected, all subsequent rules must apply to the user in order to be added to the distribution list e.g. if you select Organisation AND Department , it will go to everyone working within the specified department within the organisation selected.

If OR is selected at least one of the subsequent rules need to apply to the user e.g. if you select Organisation OR Post Code, it would go to users who are either assigned to the organisation or that particular post code.

If you make an error whilst creating a rule you can delete it. To delete a rule:

6. Click Delete next to the rule you want to delete

Click delete to delete rules

Grouping rules

Grouping rules allows you to apply multiple rules to determine dynamic distribution list recipients. A group belongs to the rule that sits above it. When you select the AND / OR in the rule that sits above any group, you determine whether all rules and any groups sitting beneath the rule must be true or if only one of the rules or groups needs to be true.

To group rules together:

1. Click Add Group and repeat steps 1-3 from the Previous Section to set the rules for the second group

In the example above if a user is within England  AND the user is either assigned to the organisation selected OR a selected department, they will be a recipient of this distribution list.

If you make an error whilst creating a group you can delete it. To delete a group:

2. Click Delete Group next to the group you want to delete

deleting a group

Handy Hint

You can also delete individual rules within a group rather than deleting the entire group

 

Including recipients from a static distribution list

You can add a static distribution list to include the members of that list to the recipients of a dynamic distribution list.
To include a static distribution list:

1. Click on Include

Handy Hint

Maximum of one static distribution list can be included

2. Type the Name of the distribution list to be included

Warning

Any contacts (i.e. who do not have an nhs.net email address) added to the static distribution list will not be included in the dynamic distribution list and therefore will be omitted from the rule

3. Click Create

Excluding recipients using a static distribution list

You can use a static distribution list to exclude the members of that list from the recipients of a dynamic distribution list.
To exclude a static distribution list:

1. Click on Exclude

Handy Hint

Maximum of one static distribution list can be used

2. Type the Name of the distribution list to be excluded

3. Click Create

Viewing Dynamic Distribution List Recipients

Viewing the target users will help you understand who the recipients of the distribution list will be. You should always review target users as it allows you to determine whether the rules in the distribution list are appropriate to include your target audience. It will also help you determine what controls will apply to the approval of this distribution list.

To view all target users of the distribution group:

Click View Target Users at the bottom of the page

click to view all the target users

When you have reviewed the target users and are satisfied, click Back

Click Complete on the Dynamic Distribution Creation page

Depending on the number of recipients and whether there are recipients across multiple organisations, the distribution list may need to be approved by a Global or Tenant Administrator or by Local Administrators in other organisations. Refer to the table at the top of the page for more information

Warning

If there are many target users, you may experience a delay in loading this page. Only the first 500 recipients will be shown along with an indication of the total number of recipients

Additional Information:

  • Dynamic distribution list rules will only apply to users with an NHSmail account and not NHS Directory contacts
  • Contacts can not be added as Senders or Owning Users

Editing a dynamic distribution list

To move a dynamic distribution list to a different department within the current owning organisation you must edit the Directory properties of the distribution list. These edits will have immediate effect and will update the dynamic distribution list entry in the NHS Directory

To move a dynamic distribution list to a new Organisational Unit:

1. Click Admin in the navigation bar at the top of the screen and select Distribution Lists from the drop down menu

2. Use the search box to find the dynamic distribution list you wish to edit

Refer to the Searching for an Entry section for more information

Handy Hint

Use the advanced search feature to search for accounts with the ‘Dynamic’ mailbox type

3. Click on the Display Name of the static distribution list to open the Edit Distribution List page

Although the Edit Dynamic Distribution List page looks slightly different to the Create Dynamic Distribution List page, the steps to edit a dynamic distribution list are the same as when you create one (with the exception of Directory Properties). Refer to the Creating a dynamic distribution list for more information on editing each part of a distribution list

Warning

If you do not want to make any changes to the distribution list, make sure you click Cancel to close the page. Clicking Update may send the distribution list for re-approval

The Edit Dynamic Distribution List page includes a Status box which indicates if the list is active/inactive, the dates it was created and last updated and who was the last administrator to edit it

Editing the Organisational Unit of a dynamic distribution list

To move a dynamic distribution list to a different department within the current owning organisation you must edit the Directory properties of the distribution list. These edits will have immediate effect and will update the dynamic distribution list entry in the NHS Directory

To move a dynamic distribution list to a new Organisational Unit:

1. Click on Edit next to Organisational Unit under Directory Properties

2. If appropriate, click the + box to expand the Organisational Unit list and select a new Organisational Unit and click Ok

Note: To change the owning organisation, rather than switch the list between different departments within the same organisation, you will need to use Transfer in the Actions box. Refer to the Transfer a distribution list for more information

When all editing is complete:

3. Click Update at the bottom of the Edit Distribution List page

The following message will be displayed:

If you receive any type of failure notification, refer to the Notifications for more information on how to address the issue

Removing the Include or Exclude rule

1. Untick Include or Exclude

2. Click on Update

3. Click Ok to proceed

The following message will be displayed:

Updated on 28/01/2021

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