NHS can save £75 million per year via historic new data network

© Tero Vesalainen

The NHS have completed the largest public sector migration to a new data network – meaning that organisations will have a better connectivity at a better cost

With the increased economic burden of COVID-19, the forced migration of many medical services online, and the examination of public sector budgets – there has never been such a crucial moment for the advent of a new data network for the NHS.

What is the new Health and Social Care Network?

Approximately 12,000 sites belonging to 950 NHS, social care, private sector and local authority organisations have moved from the legacy N3 network to the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), giving them value, highly reliable connectivity with improved security capabilities.

Organisations can now pick from a marketplace of 21 different suppliers, who compete to provide standardised network services.  This enables organisations to obtain the public internet and private network connectivity services they need over a single connection at highly competitive prices.

For the past few years, HSCN has been lauded as a key must-have for any public sector service – basically any organisation providing services to a citizen. The cost saving was projected in 2017 to be around 35-40%, which is seen today in the £75 million pound saving expected to occur yearly for the NHS.

The value for money generated by the new HSCN marketplace has enabled many organisations to significantly upgrade their connectivity in order to adopt more digital and cloud-based services, cope with rising levels of online activity, support their COVID-19 response and ultimately realise their digital ambitions.

Patrick Clark, HSCN Programme Director at NHS Digital said: “This is a hugely significant achievement both in terms of the scale and the benefit of what has been delivered.

“Reforming long-standing services in order to promote real choice, competition, innovation and value for money is always difficult but the HSCN initiative demonstrates what can be achieved when you work collaboratively across the health and care system, and industry.

Dan Parry, HSCN Lead Migration Programme Manager at NHS Digital said:

“The completion of the HSCN migration and legacy network termination ahead of schedule and within budget is an incredible achievement, given the project’s size and complexity.

“A great success is seeing the number of local NHS organisations benefiting from significant savings as a result of the HSCN marketplace whilst still being able to upgrade their capacity to fibre-base products. This will enable them to make better use of digital tools not only during the pandemic but as part of their longer-term digital ambitions.


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