Local Administrator (LA) bulletin – 05 July 2021

Please note this information is correct at the time of publishing

Local Administrator (LA) bulletin – 05 July 2021 

Advanced notice: Retirement of legacy hostnames/service URLs

Now we have completed the NHSmail Refresh programme, with all NHSmail mailboxes migrated to Exchange Online, we are giving notice of the retirement of several legacy hostnames/service URLs within the environment.

  • imap.nhs.net
  • pop.nhs.net
  • smtp.nhs.net
  • eas.nhs.net
  • mail.nhs.net
  • outlook.nhs.net

Communication to Local Administrators (LAs) will be sent shortly, with the change expected early September. Organisations should take action now to review any mail-enabled applications or devices that authenticate with NHSmail using any of the above hostnames and update configurations to point directly to Exchange Online, to bypass legacy NHSmail infrastructure due to be decommissioned.

Further details on the correct hostnames to use can be found on the NHSmail support site.

O365 Privacy Alerts

New O365 privacy monitoring is scheduled for implementation across the nhs.net tenant as part of the Vulcan portal release (targeted end-July).

This functionality aims to support organisations, content owners and Administrators (PLAs/LAs) with the necessary tooling for the proactive management of content permissions. This automated service scans the following native O365 applications for changes in privacy settings:

  • SharePoint Online
  • Teams Sites
  • Stream content

There are two core areas of functionality to be aware of as part of the new privacy monitoring service; Alert Notifications (as outlined above) and Reports (to be made available via the NHSmail Portal).

Content owners will be responsible for locally assessing the suitability of the configuration change AND taking the necessary action to ensure the correct privacy setting has been applied.

Please see the O365 Privacy Monitoring support site article for further information.

NHSmail Account Management – Best Practice Guidelines

During June 2021, the account hygiene process for the NHSmail platform was resumed, including the deletion process for inactive and active (leaver) accounts.

To ensure that this process runs as smoothly as possible on the service and to avoid the unnecessary accidental deletion of accounts, it is important that all LAs follow recommended best practice for managing the accounts in their organisation. Best practice for account management includes:

  • Avoiding unnecessary duplication of accounts at the account creation stage or staff onboarding stage

Where applicable, the leavers and joiners guidance  should be followed to ensure that an individual’s NHSmail account moves with them when they transfer between NHSmail organisations.

If a new member staff has not previously had an NHSmail account and a new account needs to be created for them, LAs should work to ensure that accounts are appropriately named to avoid any unnecessary duplication caused by incorrect account names being used.

  • Disabling accounts for staff who are on maternity leave, long-term sickness leave or sabbatical

If staff are taking an extended period of leave – such as maternity leave, long-term sickness or sabbatical – LAs must ensure that the individual’s account is marked as disabled on the NHSmail portal.

Marking an account as disabled ensures that it is exempt from the standard hygiene processes and retains it on the platform for an 18-month period from the date that it is marked as disabled. In the majority of cases, this should ensure that an individual’s account remains available to them after an extended period of absence and avoids unnecessary data loss due to poor local account management practices.

Further information on disabling NHSmail accounts can be found here: Disabling a user account – NHSmail Support.

LAs should work in collaboration with other relevant teams at their organisation, for example, HR, to ensure that accounts are managed correctly and in-line with other core staff management activities such as joining/leaving an organisation, maternity leave or long-term absence management.

Teams CVI is now Live

NHSmail’s Cloud Video Interoperability (CVI) service is now live. The cloud-based solution enables third-party video teleconferencing devices to join Microsoft Teams meetings.

LAs can now enable CVI for their organisations by completing a Helpdesk Self Service form via the NHSmail Portal. Guidance detailing the onboarding process for CVI is now available on the NHSmail support pages.

Launch of Company Communicator: Coming Soon

NHS Digital will soon be using the Microsoft Teams Company Communicator functionality to send regular updates to NHS Teams users across health and care.

Company Communicator is a new communication tool that enables NHS Digital to communicate with everyone who has an nhs.net account with the ability to send short, succinct updates that appear in a user’s chat message on Teams. Messages will include information on new functionality, opportunities to shape functionality, user research and signposting users to training and guidance materials available on the NHSmail support pages.

Users on the NHSmail shared tenant will start to receive messages in the coming weeks on a range of topics covering the Microsoft Office 365 platform and the collaboration tools available to them, you may wish to let your user base know.

NHS Digital is working with Microsoft to enable local organisations to send out messages to their workforce. This will be primarily aimed at larger organisations on the shared tenant. Further information on this will be made available soon.

Management of Clinical Safety Incidents

Following Feedback from LAs and NHSmail users, an improved process has been created for logging incidents relating to clinical risk.

Please visit – Management of Clinical Safety incidents – NHSmail Support for further information.

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Best wishes,

NHSmail Team

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Updated on 09/07/2021

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