NHS Digital is supporting NHS England to deliver NHSmail for community pharmacy as part of the quality payments scheme. Community pharmacies must have a ‘premises specific’ shared NHSmail mailbox in order to register for the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) pilot.

For a pharmacy to become eligible for any payment under the Quality Payments Scheme it must first meet five “Gateway” criteria, one of which will be that pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must have the ability for staff to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises NHSmail account, which must have at least two live linked accounts.

  • If you only have a personal pharmacy NHSmail account, (not a shared mailbox) – you must request a shared mailbox via the NHS Mail registration portal.
  • An NHS pharmacy shared NHSmail account managed by the National Administration Service (NAS) inside the ‘nhspharmacy’ container will have the prefix ‘nhspharmacy’ and will follow the below naming convention: nhspharmacy.location.pharmacynameODScode@nhs.net
  • If you have a Legacy shared account, which were created prior to the introduction of the NHS pharmacy naming convention and typically include the prefix of the organisation that sponsored the creation of the account, i.e. the commissioning organisation that set the account up, you will need to inform the NHS BSA Provider Assurance Team (nhsbsa.pharmacysupport@nhs.net), who will assist in supporting the contractor to meet the QPS requirements. This will require the contractor to move to a shared NHSmail account within the pharmacy container.
  • Please also read the Quality Payment guidance issued by NHS England for the February 2019 review point.
  • Further information and FAQ’s can be found on the PSNC webpage

The requirements for this criterion have changed;

  • The shared NHS mail premises account must have at least two live linked accounts
  • A live account is one that has been activated and not been dormant for over 90 days
  • Please note – Accounts which are not accessed for more than 90 days will be suspended and if not accessed for a further 90 days they will be deleted
  • Passwords for personal accounts need to be changed at least every 90 days – don’t ignore the reminders!
  • Suspended and deleted accounts do not meet the criterion – check linked accounts to ensure they are still live and meet the criteria
  • Then ensure team members regularly access their personal NHSmail accounts to keep them live.
  • The mailbox owner can add and remove personal NHSmail addresses to or from a pharmacy’s shared premises NHSmail account as required.
  • The simplest way for a contractor to ensure that they have a shared NHSmail account, and to have the evidence to demonstrate this, is to send an email from the shared account to one of the linked personal accounts during the declaration window. This email should then be filed so that it is accessible to resend to the NHS BSA if required to demonstrate that the account meets the requirements of this criterion. You can send an email from your shared premises account to info@suffolklpc.org.uk stating that this is evidence for Quality payments. (You must keep this as evidence, we will not do that for you)

Sending and receiving email from a personal NHSmail account will NOT be considered as having met the gateway criterion although a personal account is require to access the shared mailbox.

Pharmacy teams working within multiple pharmacy groups may want to check with their head office before requesting an NHSmail address for their pharmacy.