Digital support and solutions

NHS Mail

During the current Covid-19 pandemic, secure communication between health and social care services is more important than ever. To support this we are now able to fast track the roll out of NHS Mail to the care sector. You are no longer required to complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (This is the current guidance at this time and may change in the future).

Over half of our NEL Care Homes are now up and running with an NHS Mail email address. This has enabled these homes to be able to send patient identifiable information to health care professionals remotely to support residents within your service to access care more quickly.

Care homes can also securely contact GP practices directly as well as consultants providing care for residents as well as being able to email their local pharmacist using NHS Mail in relation to medication queries.

There is an email address for Care Homes to contact for NHS Mail:

NHS Mail has also enabled access to Microsoft Teams for video calls between health and care professionals.

Please contact your local commissioning lead for more information. 

Digital Social Care have produced support material and guides on how to solve frequently asked questions about NHSmail which can be viewed here.

For advice on how to use your new NHSmail account, you can join a live webinar, at 14:30 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Microsoft Teams

In the coming weeks, videoconferencing is going to be an important tool for care providers. Digital Social Care have put national support material on their website. A video towards the bottom of the page takes care homes through how to use Teams effectively.

Implementation of Capacity Tracker in parallel with the Market Insight Tool

We want to thank you for your continued co-operation with utilising both the Capacity Tracker and the Market Insight Tool. As you are aware, these tools have been embedded to ensure that we can see and assess the capacity across the NEL system and to monitor how our patients/residents are being cared for and to ensure they are cared for in the most appropriate setting depending on their need.

As of 7 May, 2020, over 80% of our NEL Care Homes are registered on the capacity tracker. If your service has not yet registered, please ensure that you register ASAP to the capacity tracker tool.

We appreciate that it requires some resource to input data into two systems while we are in a difficult time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this but this data is of critical importance for us in understanding and responding to changes in capacity across NEL.

This issue of resource required to complete both tools is the subject of discussions between London ADASS and NHSEI. We are exploring ways we can make this as easy as possible for our Care Homes

Star 6

Care provider staff concerned about a resident or service user who may have COVID 19 symptoms are being asked to call the patient’s GP in hours and NHS 111 Star*6, within the out of hours period to access urgent advice from a senior clinician if they cannot get through to the resident’s own GP. Before calling, record observations where possible: Date of first symptoms, blood pressure, pulse respiratory rate and temperature (refer to thermometer instructions). If there is a care plan for your resident, for example, a coordinate my care (CMC) or other advanced care plan, please have access to it.

The star 6 line process is:

  • Care Provider dials 111
  • You will then be asked to press 9 to continue
  • There will then be a prompt “if you are calling about coronavirus symptoms, please press 1 or press 2 to continue”
  • Press 2 to access the NHS 111 starlines
  • You will then hear a pause and then when asked your age please press *6

UPDATED: 15/07/2022