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Business Applications Guidance

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This document provides guidance on procuring standard business applications and is aimed at health and social care organisations using HSCN.


This document provides guidance on procuring standard business applications on HSCN. These guidelines are intended to be relevant regardless of the network used to access the applications, and may be used when procuring a service accessed over HSCN or the internet.

Business applications services that have standard offerings are now available from a range of suppliers through current government procurement routes. These routes support the government "Cloud First" policy to procure more off-the-shelf products from a more competitive range of suppliers.

There are generic considerations for any application services that they must meet, and some specific functional requirements. This document details the generic guidance for health and social care consumers to consider when procuring applications, and then guidance on specific functionality and service considerations.

Guidance is provided for:

  1. Hosted voice service (HVS) and local gateway service (LGS)
  2. Video conferencing services
  3. Remote access solution VPNs (tokens)
  4. Other overlays (such as routers, cards, ports, managed firewalls, wi-fi and local area networks)
  5. Site to site VPNs (tunnels)

Intended audience

This is a technical document and should be used by:

  • Information Management & Technology (IM&T) management and staff working in health and social care organisations intending to procure business applications services
  • suppliers of services to the NHS or wider public sector


This document will cover various aspects of procuring a business application service and the considerations for a purchasing organisation. It includes the following sections:

Business applications - generic guidance

This section details the generic guidance that should be followed when procuring any application service.

HSCN considerations

This section details considerations to include if the application is to be delivered over the HSCN. It is not necessary to run these services over HSCN; if a service can be delivered to meet the requirements over the internet or from cloud-based services then this is permitted. 

Last edited: 26 March 2021 4:33 pm