NCL Wide

NHSmail is an easy-to-use email service based on Outlook Web Access. It is secure enough to exchange sensitive information, including patient identifiable information, with other NHSmail users.

Users can access the service via computer or mobile device, using a web browser or email programme (e.g. Outlook). The service allows you to keep the same email address for the duration of your career in the NHS.

To register on for an NHS.net account, please contact your GP IT Helpdesk.

Changes to account life cycle from 1 December 2022

NHSmail user accounts that are not proactively used or monitored present a security risk to the NHSmail platform.

In order to enhance security, from Thursday 1 December 2022 NCL ICB will be making account hygiene changes.

What this means for users

Both the active and the inactive periods for unused accounts are being reduced from 90 to 30 days.

Please note: There is no change to application accounts, shared/resource mailbox hygiene or the forensic process.

Disabled accounts will also be classified as inactive while in a disabled state. They will remain on the platform for 18 months with no additional activity required.

New user accounts that have been set up but have not accepted the Acceptable Use Policy or set security questions will be moved to inactive within 30 days from creation.

User accounts will not be permanently deleted on Thursday 1 December as part of this change.

Based on their current activity status, accounts will move from:

  • active to deleted if 60+ days of no activity
  • active to inactive if 30-60 days of no activity
  • inactive to deleted if 30+ days in inactive state.

Accounts that move to deleted state will then have 30 days to be restored if required.

What you need to do

Please remind your users that at least one of the below must be completed every 30 days to keep an account active:

  • logging into the NHSmail portal
  • logging into an NHSmail shared tenant Office 365 application (e.g. Teams)
  • use of Office 365 applications (e.g. Outlook with cached credentials)
  • sending an email.

Please ensure that this change is communicated to your respective HR and ICT teams to ensure local processes are updated in line with this change.

The mailbox report account status column updates weekly on a Sunday evening. You will be able to assess the status of mailboxes across your organisation following the change.

NCL ICB advises that you review deleted mailboxes within 30 days of Thursday 1 December to ensure any required restoration activity is undertaken.

Review date: Saturday, 20 May 2023