The new Health and Social Care Network: quicker, safer, cheaper?

If you provide services on behalf of the NHS – and you access or exchange information electronically as a part of that – then you’ve probably heard about the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).

Succeeding the N3 network, the HSCN is intended to support more secure, more reliable and more efficient data transfer across services. Unlike N3, it works on a multi-supplier basis.

Basically, NHS Digital have identified the core components required to ensure the HSCN network stays stable and secure, and have then named a number of compliant and trusted suppliers who have the tools and expertise to deliver this. These suppliers – who are commissioned by service providers to connect them to HSCN – are called Consumer Network Service Providers (CN-SPs).

With the full migration from N3 due to be completed by August 2020, providers can expect to see a number of benefits by connecting:

  • Enhanced collaboration & integration – the ability to send and receive secure data between organisations easily and quickly.

  • Simpler – less intense Information Governance requirements.

  • Easier – quicker, more streamlined access to NHS Digital’s national applications.

  • Faster – enhanced connectivity speed means less time behind screens and more time with patients for clinicians.

  • Cheaper – HSCN operates in a competitive marketplace now it’s a multi-provider network, meaning cost efficiencies for providers.

  • Security – quicker and earlier detection of irregularities and cyber-security threats.

  • Future facing – designed to meet the requirements of an integrated and evolving health and social care sector, which prioritises innovation.

You can find out more about the HSCN on the NHS Digital website and in their HSCN Buying Guide.

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