Digital / IT


From 9th November 2020, under the NHS Terms of Service, contractors must ensure their staff have access to, and are able to send and receive NHSmail from, the pharmacy shared NHSmail mailbox.  To meet this requirement, contractors must ensure that at least two members of staff at the pharmacy premises have live personal NHSmail accounts that are linked to the shared mailbox.

NHSmail is a centrally funded and managed secure email and communications service which is approved by the NHS for exchanging patient data.  To set up NHSmail, register via the community pharmacy NHSmail registration portal  If you work for a multiple pharmacy group please check with your Head Office for their own internal procedures for obtaining a NHSmail address.


Pharmacy Helpdesk

If you have any issues during the set up process please contact, who will support you through the process.  The team at should also be your first point of contact for help with your account, such as unlocking your account or a password reset.

The Community Pharmacy England website includes further information around the set up and use of NHSmail and can be accessed here:



The local Registration Authority (RA) supporting pharmacies in West Yorkshire is:

The Health Informatics Service



Main Point of Contact Telephone: 0845 127 2600.  (Local: 01484 355220).

The Community Pharmacy England website has lots of useful information around Smartcards that can be accessed here:


Update as of 3rd October 2023

On 3rd October 2023, Local Smartcard Unlockers will be able to perform their full unlocker role in Care Identity Management:

  • Search for and view user profiles.
  • Unlock a smartcard.
  • Renew a smartcard, if the card is within its certificate renewal period.

After 3rd October 2023, Unlockers should stop using the Care Identity Service application and start using Care Identity Management instead.


Self-service Smartcard Unlock

The new self-service smartcard unlock application is now available to all smartcard holders:

Smartcard holders can automatically use the new application if they have a valid email address on their Care Identity profile (please see the guide here on how they can add their own e-mail address). This means:

  • There’s no need to register.
  • There are no security questions to remember.
  • Nobody needs to take their card to a Registration Authority to have it unlocked.
  • Everyone can access the application using a regular internet connection.

When a user locks their card, the existing link on NHS Identity Agent will redirect to the new service.For full details of the new application, read our guidance on the new self-service smartcard unlock.  If anyone wishes to reset their passcode, the new format is 6-8 numbers only.


Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)

EPS is now widely used across England, including sending prescriptions electronically directly to a patient’s nominated pharmacy, Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) and issuing a patient with a token copy (including the barcode) of an electronic prescription. Patients are also now able to view details and barcodes of electronic prescriptions issued for them on the NHS App.

Additional EPS information and support can be found on the CPE website

EPS dispensing tokens can be ordered via the Primary Care Support England (PCSE) Online Portal.



Summary Care Records (SCR) and the National Care Records Service (NCRS)

The NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic summary of key clinical information (including medicines, allergies and adverse reactions) about a patient, sourced from the GP record.  SCRs are being successfully used in many settings across the NHS, such as A&E departments, hospital pharmacies, NHS 111 and GP out of hours services and walk in centres.

The National Care Records Service (NCRS) was introduced as a new interface available from within the Spine portal link directory to provide national patient information for health and care staff with NHS Smartcards or equivalent. NCRS is a successor to the Summary Care Record application (SCRa) portal.

For more information on access to and use of SCRs and the NCRS, please visit the CPE website here:



Last Updated: 28th March 2024