Free messaging tool available for NHS staff to help counter coronavirus

NHS Digital will roll out Microsoft Teams for free to all NHS staffA messaging and conferencing tool will be freely available across the NHS in a bid to counter the risks of coronavirus.

Microsoft Teams will support remote and mobile working between NHS colleagues who are self isolating due to COVID-19.

Introduced by NHS Digital, it will include secure instant messaging, virtual meeting capabilities, and direct audio and video calls.

The free roll out is taking place between March 16 and March 20 for a limited time. All NHS organisations will be able to access the tool.

Similarly, those organisations not using NHSmail will have free access to Teams by applying to Microsoft directly.

This will also include access to NHSmail’s support site to help set up Microsoft Teams locally.

More practical

Ian Phoenix, director of technology at NHS Digital, said: ‘Technology is key to supporting patients who are self-isolating. It 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.’

Additionally, Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK, said: ‘Microsoft commits 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. We will continue to provide support however best we can.’

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