How do I get an NHS email address?

If you're feeling brave*, you may fancy getting yourself a NHS email account. All GPs are eligible for one, regardless of whether you're a partner, locum or salaried, and is an essential requirement for your practise as a GP in the NHS. Either ask the IT person in a practice that you get on well with to 'sponsor' you, but failing that your CCG, or its equivalent, is under obligation to issue you with one.

If you already have an NHS email address from your role as a salaried GP or partner, probably 'branded' with your practice's name, you are entitled to keep it. Speak to your local IT helpdesk (CCG or equivalent) and they will simply change your 'brand' to the CCG's or equivalent.

Don't take no for an answer, and explain that you need it to access certain courses such as online safeguarding training, for NHS appraisal (in many cases) as an appraisee, and as a GP to pass information securely about patients.

If they still refuse, ask for their name and the name of their supervisor, and read them this:

"I have made a record of your details and your refusal to supply me with a secure NHS email address that is an essential requirement as a NHS GP to transmit patient-identifiable information. I need to be pass this information on to my appraiser, and to your organisation's Caldicott Guardian, so that I can personally ensure that all information governance issues relating to your refusal have been recorded".

Then give them your phone number to call you back should new information come to light...

*fantastically secure infrastructure, but be prepared to have to create a complicated new password every 12 weeks or be locked out. Resist the very strong temptation to write it on a post-it note and attach it to your computer. And beware that it is not encrypted if Outlook archives your email onto your PC.

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