At the same time, the Secondary Uses Service continues to provide data to our Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices (DSCRO) colleagues the day after (and to NHS England two days after) the monthly deadline for providers to submit their commissioning data. We have also increased the number of national derivations applied by the Secondary Uses Service system to data and increased the frequency with which records related to emergency care are shared with arm’s length bodies and commissioners.
The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) programme is replacing the old centrally managed NHS broadband network with modern connectivity that helps organisations to access internet and cloud-based services safely while providing access to secure digital services that are only available over the NHS private network.
More than 90% of NHS organisations have now procured services, achieving average savings on like-for-like services of 74%, and are in the process of migrating to HSCN, with 27% of the old network having now been switched off. We expect the migration to HSCN to be completed in 2020-21.
92% of users of NHSmail are satisfied with its service, according to a survey in November, compared to 73% in 2015. The number of accounts on NHSmail has grown by 12% since March 2018 and we are testing the service with GP locums, junior doctors and independent midwives to ensure they have the access to secure email they need to share information effectively with their colleagues. Our main targets for expansion in 2019-20 are care providers, dentists and optometrists.
In April 2018, NHSmail accounts were synchronised with the Azure Active Directory, Microsoft’s cloud-based identity management system. This allowed NHSmail users to access the new NHSmail Office 365 Hybrid service that went live in September 2018, offering integration with Skype for Business, Microsoft Exchange, and the NHSmail contacts directory. It was the largest synchronisation ever implemented on the Azure Active Directory, involving the transfer of more than two million directory entries in five days.
We also further strengthened NHSmail’s anti-spoofing capability, ensuring the service continues to maintain the highest levels of security, in line with National Cyber Security Centre guidance.
The NHS WiFi programme now covers 95% of clinical commissioning groups, including 7,300 GP practices, and more than 95% of secondary care trusts. That means 55 million people across England have access to free NHS WiFi connectivity when they are visiting GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals. In practice, it can significantly improve access to digital services, help and advice.
For example, a patient can download an app to help them manage a health condition while they are talking to their doctor or make choices about referrals while they are in a care setting.
For many people, particularly the younger generation, reliable and free WiFi access is now expected of any public service and NHS WiFi has made this a seamless experience. It is also helping staff easily access digital services across settings, improving collaboration and information sharing.