Using Internet & Email at Work

Practice Leads

  • Doctors: Ramesh Mehay & Sudhir Krishnan
  • Admin: Chris Rushton

Date Reviewed

6th July 2016

Date of Next Review

September 2017

Under recent legislation, the practice is entitled to:

  1. Monitor and record your emails and use of the internet in the workplace - these systems belong to the practice and are connected to the outside telecommunications system.
  2. Check emails in an employee’s absence

The practice hereby gives notice that it reserves the right to monitor and check emails and internet use to a) ensure that all systems are being used for legitimate business purposes and b) to monitor the quality of service being given to clients and the effectiveness of training.  Although this will most certainly happen if the practice has reasonable grounds to believe that criminal offences or breaches of practice rules and policies may be taking place, please be aware that periodic audits will be made of our computer systems.

Any user found to have illegal software on practice equipment or who may have accessed, downloaded, viewed or distributed unsuitable or inappropriate material from the internet will be subject to disciplinary action under the Disciplinary Procedures.  Illegal software for the purpose of the Disciplinary Procedure will mean any software which the practice has not purchased and obtained a user license for, or, in the case of 'Freeware' and 'Shareware', has not been approved for use by the Practice Manager.

Practice Computer Usage Rules

Employees must not:

  • Download or use any material that is the intellectual property of a 3rd party without the 3rd party’s agreement
  • Use the internet for external job searches
  • Express views or opinions about other companies or individuals unless authorised by the practice to do so
  • Express views or sensitive information about Ashcroft Surgery or its workers on any social media sites
  • Disclose their systems access password to anyone for any reason
  • Change any security settings

An employee will be deemed to have committed gross misconduct if he or she:

  • uses unauthorised software
  • uses illegally copied software: you must not load onto your PC any non-practice-approved software, since by doing so you expose the practice's computer systems to virus infection
  • gains unauthorised access to a computer or file on a computer
  • commits any other breach of data security rules laid down by statute or the practice
  • accesses, downloads, views or distributes offensive, unsuitable, obscene or pornographic web pages or materials from the internet

The practice will notify the police where it has grounds to believe that a criminal act may have been or may be about to be committed.

Internet

Internet access is provided by the practice for the employees for business use only.   It should only be accessed during working hours, although it is available for non-business use in staff members’ own time subject to strict adherence to the Practice Conputer Usage Rules as outline above.

Employees should be aware that their internet browsing may not be private or secure.  Whilst access is designed to be secure by the service provider, the practice does not guarantee security of data when accessing sites such as electronic banking sites.    Please be aware that internet usage is monitored by the practice.

Emails

What is allowed:

  • You may send and read personal emails during non-working hours

What is not allowed:

  • It is not permitted to send or read personal emails during your working time and anyone caught doing so will not only be subject to disciplinary action but the practice may withdraw permission for others to make use of the email system for personal use - no exceptions will be made in this regard.
  • Do no send offensive or inappropriate emails.
  • Do no send or receive personal emails from your professional NHS email account.

The practice considers misuse of the email system to be so serious that a breach of practice policies will be regarded as a serious disciplinary matter, for which summary dismissal could be one of the outcomes.

Writing emails:

  • You are expected to use professional language when emailing, either internally or externally.
  • It is unacceptable and strictly contrary to practice policy to use the email system to send jokes or messages of a personal, abusive, pornographic, offensive, sexual and / or racist nature - what may appear funny to you may be regarded as offensive and / or distasteful or hurtful to others.
  • You are expected to show the same degree of care and propriety when sending emails internally as you do when sending them externally.
  • The sending of some communications may also be a criminal offence like receiving and passing on unacceptable emails:

If you receive such types of emails, you have a duty to report this to the Practice Manager, who will then take appropriate action.  We also suggest that you inform outside personnel that your emails may be monitored, by including the following message with all emails:

Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, this practice regularly intercepts and monitors emails sent to it for the purpose of, for example, ensuring that only legitimate business is being carried on and to ensure the security of information being transmitted. Please note that when sending an E-mail to any member of our staff, you accept that your email may be intercepted and/or read by other authorised members of staff.