Skype for Business is changing the way we communicate with each other.

The online tool has been installed on all desktop and laptop computers enabling all staff to send instant messages, make voice and video calls and run online meetings from your work computer.

It will support agile working, improve efficiency and reduce the need to travel by enabling virtual meetings. The instant messaging function will help improve staff communications and reduce email traffic.

This is part of the digital transformation work we are doing to improve experiences for both patients and staff, while supporting enhanced quality of care and increasing efficiency.

Skype for Business should start automatically when you login. If for any reason it doesn't work, you can access it by clicking: Start > All Programs > Skype for Business 2016 (and click on the 'Accept' button)

Messages sent through Skype are stored within Outlook and are treated in the same way as emails under Data Protection legislation. This means Skype messages may be disclosed in response to information requests relating to internal or external investigations, Access to Records requests or Freedom of Information requests, for example.  In addition, staff must not discuss or share person-identifiable information within messages; instead use the person's initials and a relevant identifier (eg staff number, NHS number, etc).

Full details will be outlined in the new IT Security and Acceptable Uses Procedure which is in the process of being ratified and will be available soon.

There may be a short delay for Sefton staff who are using Informatics Merseyside equipment to receive Skype for Business.


You can make voice calls using Skype for Business (see the how to video above). If your computer or laptop does not have speakers and a microphone built in, you will need to plug in a headset. Using a headset also prevents your call disturbing others in your office. You can order headsets through SBS for £25 each.

If your device has a camera, you can also make and receive video calls.


You can set up one-to-one meetings through Skype for Business yourself (see the how to video above). The functionality to arrange group meetings will follow. In the meantime, to set up a group meeting, you will need to log a request with the IT helpdesk.


Further information

If you have any questions or any problems accessing Skype, email the IT helpdesk: