SMS Text messaging through NHS Mail (nhs.net)
This procedure explains how to send a free of charge text message to patients and others through NHS Mail.
1. Register your Practice with NHS Mail by contacting the IT specialist for nhs.net at your local PCT/PCO. Only PCT/PCO staff can set this up for you – individual Practices cannot register direct with the NHS Mail service.
2. Give the IT specialist the names and email addresses of all of your staff that you want to use the sms.nhs.net service. You will need to set up a “generic” mailbox, which we suggest to use your Practice name. You must ensure that you do this otherwise the SMS text message that you send to patients will display the sender's name and email address and if you are sending appointment reminders or cancellations, you will want the receiver to know that the message is from the surgery rather than a named individual. It is also a good idea that, after you have successfully registered, you put the nhs welcome page in your “Favourites” folder so you don’t have to keep entering the full nhs.net address.
3. Once you have been successfully registered with NHS Mail you can then send text messages as follows: -
• Log into NHS.net using your name and password
• Once you get onto the welcome page, at the top left there are two buttons which say log out and open (other accounts in brackets next to the open button) choose the open button and you will be guided to the other accounts you have access to), find the owned “generic mailbox” and click on this, you will now be on the “nhs” mail website
• Click SMS tab at top
• Unless you have the details stored as a contact go straight to the text box at the bottom (To:) and enter the mobile number with no spaces followed directly by @sms.nhs.net.
• In the text box below this (very bottom of page) type in your message
• There is a counter at the side, which counts down and is initially set at 159 characters, if you go above this you will need to send two messages (it does say that you have 318 characters but this is 159 x 2, so ideally you should keep the text within the 159 characters)
• Click on the green arrow at the bottom left of the screen to send, and its done
• You will get an email alert shortly after telling you that the message has been delivered
[You can also send faxes the same way, but to fax fax firstname.lastname@example.org]