Getting a secure email service

Once you have your entry level assessment approved, you can request an NHSmail account.

Alternatives to NHSmail

Care homes can choose which secure email service to use.  Some larger care home groups already have a secure service so it’s worth checking before starting to put a new account in place. NHS Digital publishes a list of accredited organisations you can search. As well as NHSmail, which is the recommended service, other providers which meet national standards are:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Google G Suite

Any care home or provider choosing Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite will have to conform to the Secure Email Standard before use of these, other options can be used for email interaction.

Why choose NHSmail?

NHSmail is a centrally funded, managed, secure email service designed to allow confidential information about people we care for to be shared safely. It does everything you would expect from a modern business email system. It also has several benefits over other systems. NHSmail:

  • is safe
  • is secure
  • saves money
  • is flexible
  • is recognised
  • is reliable
  • can be used on mobile phones and laptops
  • gives access to the NHS Directory

Digital Social Care has a list of more benefits:

  • Easier/faster communications with GP
  • Simpler process for ordering tests (blood/urine)
  • Enhanced prescription ordering process
  • Reliable digital discharge summary process
  • Reduce time on admin tasks
  • Increased collaboration over hospital admissions/appointments
  • Access to NHS Directory

You can find out more about NHSmail and its benefits on the NHS Digital website.

Security in NHSmail

NHSmail email addresses all end in ‘nhs.net’. An email sent from an NHSmail address to another NHSmail address is the most secure way to send a message because the information is automatically scrambled or ‘encrypted’.

If you need to send an email to someone who does not on NHSmail or another secure email address, you should:

  • always double check the details of the person you are sending to are correct
  • add the word [secure] in the subject line with square brackets (as shown) to tell the system it must encrypt the message

All attachments are automatically encrypted, but if you are at all worried you can also password protect your document and send the password in a separate email once the person you have sent it to tells you it has arrived.

Email addresses that meet NHS standards

Email addresses that have the same security accreditation as nhs.net will end in:

  • uk
  • net
  • police.uk
  • uk
  • uk

NHS.UK email addresses: Please note that nhs.uk systems that have not met the accreditation standards are not considered secure.

Digital has produced a guide to secure email systems and standards which has a list of organisations that have met the standard.

You can watch a 10 minute video on NHSmail for care homes.

View the next sections in this guide: