What you need to know
- NHS staff will be able to use Microsoft Teams for free during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Workers will be able to instant message and make audio and video calls through Microsoft Teams.
- Teams is being rolled out between March 16 and March 20 to NHS staff.
NHS workers will be able to communicate remotely through Microsoft Teams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Microsoft announced (opens in new tab) that Microsoft Teams will be free for all NHS staff to help communication during the outbreak. Microsoft Teams will roll out to NHS staff members that use NHSmail between March 16 and March 20. Staff that aren't NHSmail users can also gain free access to Microsoft Teams by applying to Microsoft directly.
Microsoft Teams will enable NHS staff members to communicate with patients who are self-isolating and also helps staff communicate with each other. Ian Phoenix, Director of Technology at NHS Digital states that "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."
The NHS states that Microsoft Teams will be protected and monitored within its Secure Boundary, which helps secure patient data.
Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK, states that "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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