Email (IT)

Published on: 27th May 2021 | Updated on: 7th April 2022

Electronic mail (’email’) is a method of passing messages (“mail”) between persons using electronic devices.

About NHSmail: Pharmacy contractors are recommended to use NHSmail as their primary email solution, where possible. NHSmail is a managed secure email service which is approved for use for exchanging patient data between health professionals. The national rollout of NHSmail began several years ago, and some pharmacy contractors will use an additional email solution. NHSmail is the only NHS approved method for exchanging patient data by email, but only if both sender and recipient use an NHSmail account



Read more: NHSmail.

Email phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering in which an attacker sends a “spoofed” message designed to trick somebody into either:

  • giving away some sensitive information to the attacker; or
  • activating some malicious software (attached or at an internet link which had been included within the email).

During recent years phishing attacks have become more sophisticated.

For training and guidance see: Data security training and the National Cyber Security Centre guidance.

Mailing lists

An email mailing list is a collection of names and email addresses used by a person, organisation or pharmacy. It is used to send emails to multiple recipients.

Those organisations which use mailing lists, should use appropriate standard operating procedures and comply with data protection legislation.

Top tips

Top tips:

• Check the email spam box from time to time, but be cautious of phishing messages within it.
• Consider asking your email provider to add a warning so that if an external email arrives it will be flagged as such (reducing the risk of an attacker posing as a colleague from within your organisation).
• Set the ‘out-of-office’ status to on, and an automated message, if you cannot respond to emails because there will be no one able to respond to messages.

Info for LPCs

Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) may select from different email providers. LPCs may also maintain their mailing list of pharmacy contractors which usually would include pharmacy contractors’ email NHSmail and other pharmacy addresses.

There is not a national process for each/any LPC to auto-receive NHSmail.  Organisations such as pharmacy contractors, which use NHSmail complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPTK) within each completion period. The NHSmail system does not include any automated option to contact pharmacy contractors within an LPC area. LPC members which also work in community pharmacies may have NHSmail because of their pharmacy work.

Further info

If you have queries on this webpage or you require more information please contact To share and hear views about digital developments with like-minded pharmacy team members, join the CP Digital email group today.


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