A national e-mail system for the NHS has been set up and is aimed at cutting the use of paper communications.
It will connect health authorities, NHS trusts, the NHS executive and the department of health for the first time.
Health minister Alan Milburn said the new system would cost less than £1 million to set up and would lead to savings on post costs and faster delivery.
He added that it would contribute to better working practices between NHS bodies, aiding the new spirit of co-operation The e-mail will work through the NHSnet, the health services web site.
The government has also pledged it will give all GPs access to the NHSnet by the year 2002, with many of them being on-line by the end of next year.
Milburn added: “The internal market meant the NHS was split into hundreds of isolated units. Our White Paper abolishes this and puts co-operation in its place. The new e-mail system will play an important role in making the NHS a national service once again.”