In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Microsoft has provided Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System with a number of Microsoft Teams licences free for six months.

We are able to offer these licences, along with some limited support, to individuals and voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations who are involved in the care and support of people in the community.

About Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform. It will allow free voice or video calls for either groups of people who need to hold a collaborative meeting, or between individuals, enabling one to one remote communication. Text-based chat is also available.

Teams can be set up within your group licence to enable direct, time-lined communications; however you will need to request Teams creation via a central email, and once created you will have full admin rights over the team (e.g. editing, adding members, creating channels, etc.).

People do not need to have Microsoft Teams downloaded to join a meeting. Anyone with a valid email address can be emailed a link to join a meeting as a guest and gain access through a web browser.

Although Microsoft Teams is tied to other Microsoft Office services such as Word and Excel, and the free licences are offering the capacity for cloud storage to enable people collaborating to save and share documents, this information will be stored on Microsoft servers, which can be anywhere in the world and have not been verified as rigorously secure.

Due to the lack of any relevant agreed Information Governance policy regarding the storage of information relating to the care, support, health or wellbeing of individuals on Microsoft servers, we would strongly recommend that the storage facility offered through the temporary Microsoft Teams COVID-19 licences is not used.

It is possible however to share documents in real-time during a video call by using the “Share Screen” function available. By clicking on this icon a participant is able to make their desktop, and thus any open documents, visible to all other participants on the call. If document sharing is considered necessary further to this, then the documents can be sent to required individuals via secure email or other agreed methods after the meeting.

We are recommending that the offer of the Microsoft Teams COVID-19 temporary licences are used to facilitate remote direct communication between two or more people to support the health and wellbeing of those in need.

Apply for a free Microsoft Teams licence

To apply for a licence for your voluntary, faith, community or social enterprise organisation, please download and complete the application form below.