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Majority of NHSmail accounts are inactive

And few employees even have one

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The secure email and directory system for England and Scotland's health services has 153,000 active accounts, less than half the 337,000 registered users

The number of active users is a small fraction of the NHS employees within the two nations, which exceeds 1m.

In April 2006, then director general of NHS Connecting for Health Richard Granger challenged health service organisations to turn off local email systems in favour of NHSmail.

The figure for active users was provided by health minister Ben Bradshaw in a parliamentary written answer on 19 March 2008. The number has grown by 40 per cent over the last 12 months, from 109,548 at the end of February 2008 to 153,073 on 29 February 2008.

NHSmail is provided free of charge for all health service staff in the two nations, with staff able to retain their email addresses when moving between health service organisations.

The system was originally run by EDS, but its contract was terminated after six months. NHSmail is now provided by Cable & Wireless, but last year, Connecting for Health decided to move the system from that company’s Mirapoint email system to Microsoft Exchange 2007, as part of a widening of an agreement with Microsoft. The change is expected later this year.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

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