Getting and using NHSmail

NHSmail is available for free for all Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care providers in England, who have met at least ‘approaching standards’ on the Data Security and Protection Toolkit

It can be used by non-CQC registered providers if you are providing or supporting publicly-funded health and social care services nationally.

You cannot apply for NHSmail if:

  • you do not provide patient-facing care
  • you have another publicly funded email account such as ‘’

The NHSmail Access Policy provides more detail on who is eligible to use NHSmail. Contact if you are unsure whether you meet the criteria. 

If you cannot use NHSmail, follow the guidance for using Office 365 or Google Workspace securely or accrediting another email system. 

Setting up NHSmail

There are three ways of setting up NHSmail. The route you take will depend if you are a small or large organisation, or if you are not CQC-registered. 

For small organisations (CQC-registered)

Small organisations who do not have an internal IT function can register using the National Administration Service (NAS) portal 

By registering using this portal, you will be able to:

  • access dedicated admin support through a helpdesk (
  • use email addresses ending in (the naming convention for your shared mailbox will be, using your ODS Code)
  • get one shared mailbox and up to ten named user accounts 

Alternatively, if you have been commissioned locally, the commissioning organisation should provide you with sponsor email accounts during your contract.

For large organisations (CQC-registered)

Larger organisations with multiple sites, their own IT function, and the ability to administer their own accounts can register for ‘self-management’ NHSmail. 

Register using the self-management application form. Your head office, or the site the accounts will be managed from, should complete this form.

By registering for self-management, you will be able to: 

  • manage admin internally (for example, adding starters and leavers and resetting passwords)
  • integrate NHSmail with your own IT and HR procedures
  • get the default account allowance of one shared mailbox and up to ten user accounts 

Non-CQC registered services

If you are not CQC-registered but meet the criteria for using NHSmail, read and sign the NHSmail Access Policy Document and return this to

Getting started with NHSmail

Follow the NHS starter guide for social care providers to start using NHSmail. 

If you need more help with your NHSmail set up, contact The helpdesk is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Using NHSmail securely

NHSmail is a compliant email service, so you do not need to undergo the accreditation process if you use NHSmail. 

However, you must still demonstrate that you are using NHSmail securely in line with the NHSmail acceptable use policy.

For more guidance on sharing sensitive information using NHSmail, view the guides for health and social care organisations and users.