More than two million NHSmail boxes have been moved over to the Microsoft Exchange Online platform in the world’s largest enterprise email relocation.
Moving to the Microsoft platform will enable frontline staff to communication more efficiently, reducing the burden of administration and ultimately improving patient safety, NHS Digital said in a statement.
The large-scale migration aims to create a more joined up NHS while providing frontline services with digital tools and services. It builds on the rollout of Microsoft Teams to support communication at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
NHS Digital’s chief executive Sarah Wilkinson said: “The migration of NHSmail to Exchange Online has enabled us to provide staff across the NHS with a mail system which is functionally richer, more secure and lower cost.
“We have also deployed a Microsoft Hybrid implementation of Office 365 to the NHSmail platform, which is allowing NHS organisations to provision O365 services much faster, integrate with the existing NHSmail identity, and collaborate more easily.
“These additional Office365 services build on the deployment of Microsoft Teams, which we rolled-out at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and is currently used to send almost one million messages across the NHS every day.”
In August 2020 Microsoft and professional services company Accenture began the email migration, which was successfully completed on 1 February.
Some 22,000 NHSmail accounts were moved over to the cloud every evening alongside 83,000 accounts each weekend.
Now NHSmail is cloud based it will automatically update to the latest version of Microsoft’s Office 365 collaboration suite. It also enables NHSmail to provide Office 365 services.
Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK’s chief executive, said: “Whilst the NHS has had to function under incredibly challenging circumstances this past year, Microsoft has been proud to support its vital work in any way we can.
“The rapid rollout of Microsoft 365 has ensured that clinicians and support staff across England have access to the very latest productivity tools, enabling a truly joined up approach in the fight against Covid-19 and the effective delivery of essential care services.”
Julie Sweet, Accenture’s chief executive, added: “We are incredibly proud to help the NHS and its essential front-line workers use the very best digital tools available to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
“Completing this migration at unparalleled speed and scale to equip NHS staff with a new cloud-based platform that enhances their productivity and the delivery of critical services to patients is a testament to how today’s urgent challenges can be met with the powerful combination of technology and human ingenuity.”