NHSmail changes: keeping your account active

To increase the security of the NHSmail system, the NHSmail team will shortly be making changes to the system that will impact users.

From 1st December 2022, personal NHSmail accounts which are not used for 30 days will be marked inactive and inactive accounts which are not activated within the following 30 days will be deleted.

If a personal NHSmail account is ‘deleted’; it can be restored within 30 days by raising an NHSmail ticket. If an account is not restored within that period, it will be permanently deleted, and it will not be able to be restored.

Pharmacy teams can raise an NHSmail ticket to set an account to ‘disabled’ or frozen status for NHSmail users who are (or will be) on long term leave, e.g. those on maternity leave. Disabled accounts will not be subject to the standard deletion policy for 18 months, but must be restored within 18 months by the NHSmail user or by the pharmacy’s NHSmail shared mailbox owner.

The below illustration and FAQs contain more information on the new approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What communications are being issued to NHSmail users about these changes?

The NHSmail team will shortly be issuing communications to:

  • all NHSmail users about the policy changes; and
  • to NHSmail shared mailbox owners about the associated processes.

The NHSmail team plans to send SMS text and email communications to NHSmail users about this during next week.

Q. Will shared mailboxes be permanently deleted?

No. The arrangements for shared pharmacy mailboxes are different from the arrangements for personal NHSmail mailboxes. The deletion policy applies to inactive personal NHSmail accounts only.

Q. What activity keeps an account active?

Undertaking at least one of the following activities within each 30-day period will keep your NHSmail account active:

  • Logging into the NHSmail portal;
  • Logging into the O365 application;
  • Using O365 applications (i.e. Outlook with cached credentials); or
  • Sending an email using your personal NHSmail account.

Further new FAQs about keeping your account active can be found at PSNC’s NHSmail webpage.

Top tips


  • Using the mobile Outlook app and customizing your settings using PSNC’s Outlook mobile app factsheet.
  • If you use Outlook web within your internet browser, add the inbox to your favorites, or set it as the homepage for when you open the internet.
  • If you will not be using your NHSmail account frequently for a certain period, e.g. because of a change to your job role, you could set a diary reminder to send yourself an email once a fortnight to keep the account active. Or get your account set to ‘disabled’ to freeze it for a longer period of time, e.g. over a month.
  • Link your mobile phone number to your NHSmail account so you may be notified by text alerts of major changes with your NHSmail account.

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