Reminder: NHSmail multi-factor authentication

The NHSmail team previously announced that multi-factor authentication (MFA) is set to become mandatory across the platform for all NHSmail users from later in 2024.

What is MFA?

Normally you use your email address and password to log into your NHSmail account. MFA is an additional security measure that verifies your identity when logging into your account. It will become the default method for accessing NHSmail accounts.

MFA has been around for some time on the platform, and you may already be using it in NHSmail (or in your personal life such as for online banking). It is currently an optional feature, but there are many benefits to it. The NHSmail team have said that:

  • More than 99.9% of accounts compromised by cyber attacks can be blocked by using MFA (Source: Microsoft, 2022)
  • MFA can prevent disruption to patient care, referrals and appointments
  • MFA helps keep any patient data in a more protected environment

As online working becomes the norm, so does the need to keep yourself and the data you work with safe.

NHSmail is a secure communication platform and MFA is intended to help keep it that way. It is being introduced across all NHSmail user accounts.

FAQs

What does this mean for pharmacy NHSmail users?

Pharmacy NHSmail users are encouraged to enroll for MFA before it becomes mandatory. There are three methods available, and using the Authenticator App is recommended as it provides the strongest security. Users who trial MFA before it becomes mandatory can switch it off if needed.

What lessons are being taken from other pharmacy MFA rollouts?

Community Pharmacy England has fed back to NHS England and the NHSmail team the experiences of pharmacy teams with the recent rollout of MFA in a clinical services IT system, so these lessons are being considered by the NHSmail team.

How do I try out MFA share comments and make NHSmail MFA requests?

Read more in this step-by-step guide for trying pharmacy NHSmail MFA.

It is important that pharmacy team members using NHSmail take up the chance to try MFA out now so that any issues can be identified and addressed before the mandatory rollout of MFA.

We want to hear your feedback about your experience, including any suggestions of how to make the NHSmail MFA experience better for use in a pharmacy.

Let us know how you get on, by sharing your feedback via cpe.org.uk/itfeedback. We will collate your feedback and share it with the NHSmail team.

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