Mobile messaging and notifications

Published on: 27th April 2020 | Updated on: 19th December 2023

Mobile messaging involves the sending of messages to a person’s mobile device – such as their mobile phone. Examples include SMS texting, Multimedia Message Service (MMS) to a host of wireless access protocol (WAP) mobile messaging services (e.g. WhatsApp or Telegram).

Health and care professionals may use mobile messaging to communicate amongst each other or to communicate with patients. Some pharmacy and GP practice clinical systems also enable the sending of mobile messaging.

Pharmacy systems mobile messaging

If you’d like to explore with your pharmacy system supplier how you could use your system to efficiently send mobile messages to patients (e.g. notifications for when medicines can be collected), please contact your pharmacy system supplier.

Some system suppliers enable you to send SMS text messages or email reminders to patients that want these messages – via a special type of NHSmail pharmacy account called an NHSmail ‘application account’

The process may involve:

  • The contractor NHSmail administrator will need to set-up an NHSmail ‘application’ account linked to the pharmacy shared mailbox (this counts as using one of the standard allowance of up to ten individual email accounts linked to the shared pharmacy mailbox).
  • The contractor NHSmail administrator contacts the pharmacy NHSmail admin helpdesk to request for the ‘application NHSmail account’ to be set-up and enabled (the service route process for raising technical queries is outlined at:
  • There are some naming considerations for the application NHSmail account: the account email address should not be named a person, but it can be named reminders.[ODS code].dontreply or similar. ‘Dontreply’ can be added because this may be an unmonitored email account…

Some pharmacy owners may opt to set-up their own NHSmail application accounts.

There are a number of mobile messaging providers that can also support pharmacy owners and teams with mobile messages.

Data security

NHS guidance previously stated that: “It is absolutely fine to use mobile messaging to communicate with colleagues and patients/service users as needed. It is also fine to use commercial, off-the-shelf applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram where there is no practical alternative and the benefits outweigh the risk. The important thing, as always, is to consider what type of information you are sharing and with whom. And as much as possible limit the use of personal/confidential patient information.” (NHSX COVID-19 IG advice for health and care professionals as of April 2020).

NHS England’s Transformation Directorate (NHSE’s TD) guidance says: “Selecting a or consulting tool: From an IG perspective, any video conferencing or consulting tool can be used provided there has been an appropriate local risk assessment.

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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