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Central network services
This section details suppliers providing central network services to HSCN. These services will be contracted centrally by NHS Digital to external providers who will deliver the key tools and expertise to ensure the security and stability of HSCN.
HSCN peering exchange services
The HSCN peering exchange connects all HSCN connectivity supplier networks together. This means organisations can share and access services regardless of which HSCN connectivity supplier they use.
The HSCN Peering Exchange service is provided by Redcentric Solutions Limited.
The HSCN Peering Exchange is live and HSCN connectivity suppliers must connect their networks to it as part of achieving their HSCN Stage 2 Compliance.
NHS Secure Boundary
HSCN CN-SPs are required to connect to 'NHS Secure Boundary'. NHS Secure Boundary provides a security solution which offers protection against the most sophisticated network security threats for NHS organisations. This solution is part of a larger programme of work being delivered by NHS Digital's Data Security Centre (DSC) to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of patient data, as well as protecting clinical and business systems from emerging threats.
See the NHS Secure Boundary webpages for more information, including its key benefits.
Legacy N3 Continuing Orders Users
You may be aware that there is currently a centrally provided service deployed on the HSCN Transition Network which monitors and reacts to internet traffic providing blocking and protection for legacy N3 services provided to you by BT.
This central capability will soon be ceased and, therefore, during any remaining period that your legacy N3 services exist and are connected to the HSCN Transition Network, your internet traffic will be onward routed to be monitored via the HSCN ANM. This switchover should appear seamless to you and will take place as soon as transition from the HSCN Transition Network service to the HSCN ANM solution can be affected.
Further information will be provided in due course.
HSCN Network Analytics Service partner
The HSCN Network Analytics Services (NAS) monitors the heartbeat of HSCN and identifies any new or anomalous behaviour on any part of HSCN.
NHS Digital can confirm that Computacenter UK Ltd has been successful in the HSCN NAS procurement.
The procurement comprised of two Lots; Computacenter has therefore been awarded the NAS Partner contract for an initial 2-year term, and a contract to supply the materials required to build and scale the NAS for a period of up to 4 years.
The NAS is an in-house NHS Digital capability being established in partnership with Computacenter (UK) Ltd. The NAS is live and HSCN connectivity suppliers are now connecting their networks to it.
HSCN Peering Exchange
The HSCN Peering Exchange Service has been contracted to Redcentric Solutions Ltd.
The Peering Exchange is a critical component of HSCN and allows the interconnection of multiple supplier networks - enabling HSCN consumers using different network suppliers to reliably communicate.
Platform delivery is complete and the Peering Exchange is fully interconnected with the Transition Network.
The HSCN Peering Exchanges are located at:
CN-SPs are recommended to make direct contact with these data centre suppliers to enquire about rack space, cross-connects and backhaul options.
Once suppliers have passed the HSCN stage 1 compliance gate they can apply for a Peering Exchange connection from Redcentric. An application form will be provided by Redcentric upon request. NHS Digital will work with Redcentric to support suppliers with the implementation and testing process.
For more detailed guidance and documentation on the HSCN Peering Exchange please email us at email@example.com.
Why you should become an HSCN connectivity supplier
HSCN will be delivered by multiple suppliers providing interoperable network services that adhere to an agreed set of standards. This means health and social care organisations are able to replace existing Transition Network connectivity services with HSCN services purchased from a choice of suppliers within a competitive marketplace.
Any network supplier able to demonstrate compliance with the HSCN standards (detailed in the HSCN Obligations Framework) will be able to sell and deploy HSCN network services to the health and care sector.
We've designed the HSCN Obligations Framework in consultation with industry in order to ensure close alignment with common industry standards and to maximise supplier participation in the HSCN Marketplace.
Whilst health and social care organisations will need to obtain HSCN compliant connectivity to support their business operations, we're not mandating any particular supplier or purchasing route for them to use. HSCN is designed to enable health and social care organisations to choose the suppliers and network solutions that best meet their needs.
HSCN will provide a large consumer base for suppliers
HSCN will open up access for suppliers to a large consumer base made up of both existing NHS organisations and the numerous non-NHS organisations becoming increasingly involved in the provision of health and care
HSCN creates more opportunities for network and system suppliers
The HSCN standards have been designed to enable small, medium and large network suppliers to achieve HSCN compliance and sell connectivity services to the health and care sector. Suppliers with regional rather than national coverage will be able to take part and compete alongside larger suppliers.
Apply to be a connectivity supplier
NHS Digital are temporarily not accepting any further applications from organisations wishing to become fully accredited Consumer Network Service Providers on HSCN. NHS Digital are using this time to review the Peering Exchange setup and anticipate opening up for applications again in mid-2021. Please refer to this web page for notification as to when applications will open back up.
If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
HSCN Business applications suppliers
Any N3 contacted voice and/or video business applications currently running on the Transition Network at customer sites need to be replaced prior to the migration of the network to HSCN. Read the NHS Digital guidance on procuring replacement services for further details.
Supplier compliance status
The HSCN compliance model is made up of three stages:
Stage 1 (pre-market): an audit based on obligations which must be met before the supplier can market/sell HSCN-badged services.
Stage 2 (pre-live): an audit based on obligations which must be met, and core infrastructure that must be connected to, before a supplier can begin to provide services to consumers
Ready for live service: a supplier (CN-SP) who has attained stage 2 compliance and has also completed the live service rehearsal.
Additionally, there are ongoing post-live obligations which can only be proven by supplier performance once the supplier is delivering HSCN services. There will be regular assessments of supplier performance and adherence to the framework.
The table below shows the stage of HSCN compliance for each CN-SP and HSCN contact details for compliant suppliers.
Supplier status is correct as of 20 June 2020
Suppliers must be HSCN Compliant in order to offer network connectivity services. Suppliers will therefore need to pass through the HSCN Compliance process.
Compliance stages for customers
The below is a brief overview of what stage 1 and stage 2 Consumer Network Service Provider (CN-SP) compliance means for HSCN customers.
Stage 1 compliance
HSCN stage 1 compliance demonstrates that a supplier is capable of delivering HSCN connectivity in a way that meets the obligations and adheres to the standards set out by NHS Digital in the HSCN Obligations Framework.
At this stage suppliers also sign a Deed of Undertaking with NHS Digital which binds them to comply with the HSCN Obligations Framework.
In order to market themselves as an HSCN Supplier and start engaging in HSCN procurements, suppliers must have achieved HSCN stage 1 compliance.
Stage 2 compliance
HSCN stage 2 compliance is achieved when suppliers provide NHS Digital with detailed solution design information and successfully connect to the HSCN central services (including the HSCN Peering Exchange).
When suppliers achieve stage 2 compliance, NHS Digital provides them with a certificate.
In order to deploy live HSCN connectivity, suppliers must have achieved stage 2 compliance. This means that the supplier must:
- have passed through the audit process covering their detailed solution and service management design
- have also successfully connected in to the HSCN Core Services
|Stage of compliance||What it demonstrates||How to know who is compliant||What it enables the supplier to do|
|Stage 1 compliance||Supplier meets the obligations and adheres to the standards set out by NHS Digital in the HSCN Obligations Framework.||Stage 1 Compliant suppliers will have the HSCN assurance mark.
They will have a tick against stage 1 compliance in the table below.
|Market themselves as an HSCN connectivity supplier.
Engage in HSCN procurements.
Quote for provision of HSCN services.
|Stage 2 compliance||Supplier can provide live HSCN Connectivity.||Stage 2 compliant suppliers will have a stage 2 compliance certificate issued by NHS Digital.
They will have a tick against stage 1 and stage 2 compliance in the table below.
All of the above plus undertake a HSCN service rehearsal.
|Ready for live service||A supplier (CN-SP) who has attained stage 2 compliance and has also completed the live service rehearsal.||They will have a tick against stage 1, stage 2, and Ready for live service checkboxes in the table above||
All of the above plus provide live HSCN connectivity services
Stage 2 supplier pack
An HSCN supplier pack is available for connectivity suppliers who have applied for and achieved stage 1 HSCN compliance. Please email email@example.com with "HSCN Supplier compliance" in the subject line to request this guidance and documentation.
Design position documents
The following documents and application form are now available.
The HSCN Compliance Operating Model details the process and required activities that a supplier will need to undertake in order to achieve and retain HSCN Compliance. Please read this document prior to reading any of those detailed below as it will help you understand the overall process of becoming a HSCN Supplier and the compliance documentation structure.
This HSCN Compliance Release and Configuration Note (RCN) introduces the revised Operating Model and Obligations Framework and explains what we have changed, the reasons why and how the changes have been affected.
The HSCN Compliance application form must be completed by the supplier in order to apply for Stage 1 HSCN Compliance, this can be requested from NHS Digital by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org (FAO: Supplier Compliance Team).
Upon reaching Stage 1 compliance, suppliers will be permitted to use the HSCN Assurance Mark.
The CAS(T) Security Addendum and annex and Compliance Addendum annex A is Appendix item 3 in the HSCN Compliance Operating Model. It indicates when suppliers must achieve compliance against the listed security controls. This is in order to obtain and maintain HSCN Compliance, in addition to the business continuity controls that need to be met in order to achieve the HSCN minimum compliance baseline.
The HSCN Obligations Framework (Updated June 2019) describes the obligations that HSCN Suppliers shall adhere to for the supply, delivery and operation of HSCN Connectivity Services to HSCN Consumers.
The Migration Addendum presents the detail that CN-SPs will need covering migration processes and for Aggregated Procurements, to formalise the monitoring of migration run rates and the migration slot prioritisation process.
The Commercial Addendum details HSCN CNSPs’ obligations to report Financial Standing risks, and their process for managing these, to the HSCN Authority. It also contains the HSCN Consumer rights of novation.
The HSCN CN-SP Service Management Requirement Addendum provides additional detail for section 3 (Service Management Requirements) of the HSCN Obligations Framework.
The Consumer Network Service Provider (CN-SP) data reporting requirements is to be submitted periodically as instructed within the Service Management Addendum and service co-ordinator guidelines. This is the approved dataset requesting structured information to be used by the HSCN Authority for operational and service management purposes.
The HSCN Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Policy explains when a CSP can proceed with offering their 'value-add' capability, in a manner that does not undermine the HSCN operating model, or when they are required to become a CNSP. That is - if they are just providing a “pass-through connection” service to HSCN’s end users. To assist with this, a set of approved user access scenarios have been provided which show what a CSP would need to adhere to if they are to provide their 'value-add' capability to the wider HSCN user community.
The CN-SP Deed details HSCN Supplier and HSCN Authority undertakings required to ensure that the HSCN Connectivity Services are provided to an appropriate quality. The CN-SP Deed must be signed by the supplier in order to achieve Stage 1 HSCN Compliance and HSCN Supplier status.
The HSCN Mandatory Supplemental Terms provides a set of standard clauses that HSCN Suppliers must include in every HSCN Consumer Contract for the delivery of HSCN Connectivity Services.
The change control process describes the mechanism by which amendments will be made to the supplier compliance product set. This document is being drafted and will be discussed with the Innopsis group prior to publication.
HSCN inbound internet connectivity guidelines for CNSPs and consumers sets out the obligations fo CNSPs and provides guidance for consumers on inbound internet connectivity on HSCN.
This document sets out the Private IT service provider (ITSP) connecting from outside of England’s borders policy for the Health and Social Care Network
The HSCN Migration Guidance document provides an overview of the HSCN migration forecasting, planning and scheduling processes and responsibilities for CNSPs.
BT CNSP Information Pack This is a guidance document which outlines the various engagement processes to be followed by Consumer Network Service Providers (CNSP's) when migrating services to HSCN. This document details the end to end processes that must be followed when engaging with BT at the various stages of the migration lifecycle.
BT Transfer of Service to CNSP (v1.1) - This is a document that details the information BT will provide to Consumer Network Service Providers (CNSP's) to migrate Continuing Orders services (formerly known as N3 services) to a CNSP under the HSCN TN contract.
BT Engagement Template (v1.0) - This is a template to be completed by Consumer Network Service Providers (CNSP's) when initiating engagement with the Transitional Assistance for Continuing Order (TACO) Programme. It should be completed and emailed to email@example.com.
BT Migration Portal Access Request (v1.0) - This is a template to be completed by Consumer Network Service Providers (CNSP's) when requesting access to the BT TACO Migration Request Portal. It should be completed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HSCN Buying Guide intends to provide useful information to new and existing customers considering buying a new HSCN Connection.
The HSCN Migration Checklist provides details of the actions you'll need to take at each stage of your migration to HSCN from the Transition Network.
The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is a new data network for health and care organisations, replacing N3.
Next steps for existing Transition Network (legacy N3) users migrating to HSCN.
Find out about the latest news, events and webinars for HSCN.
Guidance, policy and best practice documents covering all technical aspects of HSCN. Documents on this page will be regularly reviewed and updated by NHS Digital as required.
Support and guidance for private sector organisations migrating from the Transition Network to HSCN.