A messaging and conferencing app will be available for free, for a limited time period across the NHS, to counter the increased risks associated with COVID-19.
Microsoft Teams provides secure instant messaging, direct audio, and video calls between NHS colleagues and has virtual meeting capabilities. It can support remote and mobile working between NHS colleagues, helping staff to work and deliver advice during the coronavirus outbreak.
NHS Digital, will roll this out to all NHSmail users between 16–20 March. Microsoft has confirmed that all NHS organisations will be able to access this tool.
Organisations not using NHSmail, can also have free access to Teams by applying directly to Microsoft. They will also have access to NHS Digital’s NHSmail support site to help them implement Microsoft Teams locally.
Microsoft Teams is a secure communications platform and will be protected and monitored within the NHS Secure Boundary.
Ian Phoenix, Director of Technology at NHS Digital said: ‘Technology is key to supporting patients who are self-isolating and makes sure they have the information they need and access to medical support and advice. For doctors and NHS staff this means that working remotely becomes much easier and more practical.’
Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK says: ‘Microsoft is fully committed to assisting the NHS at this incredibly challenging time. The use of Microsoft Teams will ensure the hardworking doctors, nurses and support staff across all NHS organisations have the collaboration tools they need to carry out their vital work. We are hugely appreciative of their ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19 and will continue to provide support however best we can.’
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