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Part of HSCN consumer handbook: contents


This section provides guidance on managing your live HSCN service.


This section provides guidance on managing your live HSCN service.

Ceasing legacy N3/BT Continuing Orders services

Once your HSCN service is live and you’ve successfully migrated, or you have determined that your Transition Network (TN) connection is no longer required, it is your responsibility as the consumer to cease your previous service(s). You are also responsible for ceasing any associated overlay services, such as managed voice or video services, once they have been replaced.

This is done by raising a BT Continuing Orders cease notice to terminate legacy services. To request a cease to your existing services you can:

  • raise a request on the BT Continuing Orders portal via the BT customer relationship manager 
  • send an email to the BT Continuing Orders team confirming the service identification number (SIN) to be ceased to - the SIN is a unique ID used to identify legacy Continuing Order services on the TN 
  • contact the BT Continuing Orders Helpdesk on: 0800 085 0503 (option 3, then option 2)

IP address management on HSCN

The HSCN IP addressing policy outlines how Internet Protocol (IP) addressing is used across the network for HSCN consumers.

Consumers moving from TN have the option of using either minimal Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) addressing or migrating their existing addressing structure via the Transitional Assistance for Continuing Orders (TACO) process. TACO are a BT Transition Network service provider team. They support consumers migrating from the TN to HSCN.

All new consumers must use minimal RIPE addressing that covers connectivity only.

All consumers must inform the NHS Digital Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM) team via the HSCN Portal. To do so you will need to request ‘IPAM Delegate’ access under your parent Organisation Data Service (ODS) Code via

Once you have IPAM delegate access you have two choices:

  1. Migrate circuit: for TN hosted sites, this informs the IPAM Team of what IP addresses the consumer wishes to use or abandon.
  2. New circuit: for new circuits, this provides minimal RIPE addressing to cover connectivity only, as per the IPAM policy.

In both cases you must provide:

  • the supplier name (CN-SP)
  • the supplier circuit ID – a unique service code replacing the previous BT N3 Service Identification Number (SIN)
  • the date of migration to HSCN
  • whether the circuit is a single or resilient link (for new circuits only)

NHS Digital strongly advise you to look at your IP subnet estate well in advance of migration to ensure that all information is up to date and correct. Further information on the HSCN IPAM policy and guidance documents can be found on the HSCN IP address management page.

See an overview of the HSCN domain name system (DNS)

NTP service replacement

As a number of organisations are still reliant on the central Network Time Protocol (NTP) service for HSCN, a temporary replacement service has been provisioned on the replacement DNS. This service will be available on the same IP addresses as the legacy NTP service ( and

The reliance on the central NTP is discouraged, and organisations are requested to provision their own source. NHS Digital has publicised the availability of free and open source services that can fulfil the original NTP service requirement. Guidance on how to select and implement an appropriate NTP service is published on the NHS Digital website.

HSCN change management

A change schedule is published by the NHS Digital Service Management team on a weekly basis. The change schedule covers all internal and external changes that may affect HSCN. CN-SPs can request access to this information and, in the event that a change affects consumers, it is the CN-SP’s responsibility to inform you.

NHS National Ruleset request

The NHS National Ruleset Forms replace the Data Security Centre (DSC) HSCN ANM Firewall Change Request Form.

Following the migration to NHS Secure Boundary, changes to the National Ruleset should be made by an Authenticated User on the Secure Boundary Platform.

The form can be used if:

  • your CNSP has advised the port you are trying to access is not an allowed any/any port and has advised you submit a completed form to them
  • you are a Secure Boundary Authenticated User at a Direct Connect Organisation

Once completed, the form should be sent to the NHS Digital Exeter Helpdesk (EHD) via your local IT support route. When they get the form the NHS Digital DSC will assess the request and either, instruct Accenture to make the necessary changes and confirm this to you or respond to advise that the request cannot be authorised.

Download the NHS National Ruleset Request Forms

For further details and guidance on using this form please see HSCN internet access issues guidance.

You can contact the NHS Digital Exeter Helpdesk by:

Telephone: 0300 303 4034


Last edited: 26 November 2021 3:50 pm