• Darren Atkins

News - Social Care NHS Mail Access Requests Robot Launched #COVID19

Updated: Apr 4

In partnership with NEL Healthcare Consulting, Healthy London and Accenture, over the last week I have created four processes that will speed up the handling of access requests and the provision of NHS Mail accounts to Care Homes throughout the UK.


This blog gives a high level overview of what part the process the robots will manage.


Any Care Home requiring access to NHS mail completes the access request form shown below.


The robot reads all emails and saves all attachments into a unique location per email. The bot is able to handle emails with multiple attachments and any file type. These emails are loaded into a queue ready for processing.


The advantage of using queues is it will allows me to use multiple robots and to see which emails have been processed in the event of an issue. The emails that have been processed are moved from the inbox into a named outlook folder.


For each pending transaction, the bot will check to see if the attachment is a valid file type and whether the content of the attachment is a valid access request. If successful the bot extracts all the data from the access request.



Successful transactions are passed into another queue. The ODS Site Code is used as the item key. Any invalid items are marked as an exception.


The bot then creates configuration spreadsheets for each access request. At the same time it validates a number of data items and then runs a final check to see if the submission is suitable for passing to the National NHS Mail Team for processing. If not suitable, a rejection notification gets sent to the originating care home.



The pass/fail status is recorded in the robot queue in the Tags column.


On a periodic basis, the bot will take all the individual verified spreadsheets and merge them into a single dataset for automatic forwarding to the National NHS Mail Team.



The current approach is for social care staff to receive access requests and manually type data into the submission spreadsheets. This automation will literally save thousands of hours and will provide a much faster turnaround for the allocation of new NHS mail accounts. I am so excited to be launching it next week.


These processes will be uploaded to the NHS Digital Exchange once I have completed the technical documentation. There are some handy bot routines that can be repurposed for other processes.


#AI #RPA #somethingincredible #NHS #timematters #covid19 #workingtogether

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