NHS Email Armageddon 2016

All intelligent people understand that email and the personal inbox is not a good place to store and manage corporate information.

Many organisations will have formal policies which forbid, frown on, or discourage such practices. A small subset of those may even provide an attractive alternative. Nevertheless most records managers have sleepless nights and dali-esque nightmares involving bloated inboxes (10000 plus messages “just-in-case”) full of stuff (most of it personal data) which has long since passed its sell-by date and been officially deleted. Typically they will also have data protection and sometimes Freedom of Information responsibilities.

The NHS is of course enlightened and has an IG Toolkit which prevents this sort of thing. The NHSMail “Acceptable use policy plays its part in compliance: “NHSMail … is not designed as a document management system. Documents or emails that are required for retention / compliance should be stored within your organisation’s document management system in accordance with local Information Governance policies.” [This paragraph is the April Fool section – the rest is true.]

In practice one of the few tools the diligent records manager has to limit the damage is the email quota. This eventually forces people (other than senior managers who have a secret tool to increase their quota) to sort out the worst and oldest of the mess. Sometimes (rarely but we can hope) at this point they seek advice.

So wake up NHS records managers. NHSmail2 is nearly docked. The base quota is about to be increased from a typical 400mB (bad enough!) to 4gB for all users.

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