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HSCN technical guidance

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.


The HSCN Internet Access Form

The HSCN Internet Access Form replaces the Data Security Centre (DSC) HSCN ANM Firewall Change Request Form. 

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 you still require access
  • your CNSP has advised you are trying to access something that has been blacklisted but you still require access - these requests will only be approved in exceptional and business critical circumstances
  • you had access to a site on the Transition Network (previously N3) but you do not have the same access on HSCN

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

Download the the HSCN Internet Access Form

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

You can contact the NHS Digital National Service Desk by:

Telephone: 0300 303 5035


National Service Desk portal (TN or HSCN connection required):

HSCN QoS change request form

To request a change to a QoS configuration, download the change request form.

On the form, provide as much detail as you can, including: full contact details; information about the application and the reason for the configuration change; and the QoS class, IP address, and port/protocol (if applicable).

Email the completed change request form to the NHS Digital National Service Desk (NSD).

For further details and guidance see HSCN QoS - change requests and end-to-end configuration.

HSCN customer requirements discovery form

The HSCN customer requirements discovery form has been designed to support organisations migrating from the Transition Network to HSCN in capturing and consolidating information regarding their existing network estate and IT services.

The aim of capturing this information is to allow organisations to record what connections and services will be impacted by their migration to HSCN and prompt them to consider what replacement or new services they will require their HSCN CNSP to provide.

Information captured can be used to inform discussions with your chosen HSCN CNSP.

Policies and guidance

Policies and technical guidance for suppliers and users of HSCN.

1. IP addressing

HSCN IP address management

Find all information relating to IP address management under HSCN, including the HSCN IP addressing policy, IP addressing good practice guidelines, IPAM process and change request forms.

2. Quality of Service

HSCN Quality of Service overview

Quality of Service (QoS) is a set of techniques to manage resources within a communications network. This HSCN Quality of Service overview provides details of QoS implementation across HSCN and includes the HSCN QoS policy.

HSCN QoS - change requests and end-to-end configuration

This page provides details of the HSCN configuration change requests process and QoS change request form.

3. DNS

HSCN/Transition Network Domain Name System

This document provides an overview of the Domain Name System (DNS) on HSCN and Transition Network and the DNS change request process

Transition Network guidance for DNS local forwarding and server configuration

This Transition Network guidance for DNS local forwarding and server configuration is intended for NHS 'end-user' organisations connected to the Transition Network, who have opted for local DNS provision.

4. Other guidance

Before migration

These guidance documents are designed to support users prior to migrating to HSCN.

HSCN readiness testing guidance note

The HSCN readiness testing guidance note describes activities which will help a HSCN customer identify and resolve potential migration related risks, ahead of time, which would otherwise cause issues during their live migration.

Migrating an existing Transition Network VPN to HSCN

Guidance and considerations for migrating an existing virtual private networks set up on the Transition Network to HSCN.

HSCN connectivity options

HSCN will create the effect of a single network across health and social care providers and their partners. This page provides guidance and details of some of the HSCN connectivity options and network designs suitable for different organisations and business requirements. 

HSCN business applications guidance

This document provides guidance on procuring standard business applications to replace N3 overlays.

Private IT service provider connecting from outside of England's borders policy

This policy outlines the approved scenarios and criteria under which IT service providers can offer services over HSCN when based outside of England’s borders.

After migration

These guidance documents are designed to support users with live HSCN services.

HSCN connectivity troubleshooting guide

The HSCN connectivity troubleshooting guide advises users how to isolate the cause of any network or internet connectivity problems on HSCN.

HSCN network perimeter security guidance for CCGs and general practices

Guidance and useful documentation on clinical commissioning group (CCG) and general practice responsibilities for network perimeter security on the HSCN.

Maintaining access to internet services after migrating to HSCN

Maintaining access to internet services after migrating to HSCN explains how the Transition Network and HSCN use IP addresses to restrict access to authorised users and how they access services and applications over the internet.

Troubleshooting guide - HSCN IP network connectivity

The troubleshooting guide to HSCN IP network connectivity provides a step by step guide to using specific tools and techniques that will resolve or rule out issues that commonly cause network connectivity problems.

HSCN internet access issues guidance

The HSCN internet access issues guidance supports HSCN consumers requesting access to blocked internet resources.

Last edited: 21 May 2019 12:25 pm