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All NHS organisations will be connecting to HSCN over the next 2 years and will be using HSCN to share information and deliver digitally enabled services.
Social care organisations should also consider obtaining HSCN connectivity in order to improve their ability to access and share information and services reliably, and benefit from security-enhanced internet connectivity.
To support new social care customers joining HSCN we've created a 4-step customer journey for new customers looking to join HSCN.
The HSCN Customer Satisfaction Survey
Wherever you are on your migration journey to HSCN, we are keen to understand your procurement and migration experiences and if you’ve completed migration how satisfied you are with your new HSCN supplier and services.
NHS Digital have created a survey to gather your feedback and we’d be grateful if you would share your experiences with by completing the HSCN Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Step 1 - contact suppliers
HSCN connectivity is supplied via a marketplace of compliant suppliers (called Consumer Network Service Providers or CN-SPs); you can find details of which suppliers have achieved compliance, and an explanation of the HSCN compliance process on the HSCN Suppliers page.
Contacting suppliers about HSCN connectivity
Health and social care organisations can buy HSCN connectivity from a choice of HSCN Suppliers within a competitive marketplace.
Because all HSCN connectivity suppliers connect to one another, you will still be able to access and share information with everyone else connected to HSCN regardless of when you connect or which supplier you choose.
A complete list of HSCN suppliers and their contact details is published and kept up to date on the HSCN Suppliers page.
When buying your HSCN connection we strongly advise you to contact several suppliers so you can get the best value for money connection for your needs.
While it's not essential, we advise that you use the HSCN Quote Form when asking suppliers to provide pricing so the responses they get back are consistent and easy to compare. This form was created in collaboration with suppliers to make sure it captures all the info they need to provide you with a quote for a HSCN connection.
Existing regional HSCN initiatives
NHS Digital is currently managing the migration of existing N3 customers to HSCN connectivity.
The timelines associated with this migration only apply if you're currently connected to N3. If you aren't an existing N3 customer you can plan to buy HSCN connectivity whenever and however you please.
Depending on your requirements you may wish to consider joining a procurement initiative already in development.
Many health providers have organised themselves into partnerships and are seeking to collaborate on the establishment of shared regional networks. If you would like to join one of these initiatives, please let NHS Digital know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with the lead organisation.
NHS Digital is also planning to manage a series of aggregated procurements on behalf of health and care organisations. These will be run regionally to this indicative schedule. If you would like to join one of these initiatives, please let NHS Digital know by emailing us at email@example.com. You will need to commit to an aggregated procurement a minimum of 6 weeks before it launches.
Step 2 - complete a Connection Agreement
Every organisation that wants to use HSCN must complete a Connection Agreement.
The HSCN Connection Agreement can be submitted now. You can complete a Connection Agreement at any point before you connect to HSCN, we advise that you do this as soon as possible to make sure you won't face any delays.
You'll need to provide the following information to us to complete a Connection Agreement - these details should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Organisation name and address - this should match the information held against your organisations ODS code
- ODS code - you can search for your ODS code using the NHS Digital ODS Portal
- Name and email address of HSCN point of contact - this should be the person responsible for completing the Connection Agreement
Once we've received this information we'll send an invite with registration details by email to the nominated contact details.
Step 3 - buy a HSCN connection
Once you've contacted a number of suppliers, and compared the quotes they've offered for the type of connection you need, you'll be able to:
- select which supplier you want to buy from
- let them know when you want your connection to start
You won't need to confirm these details to NHS Digital as we'll be working with suppliers to make sure we know about any new organisations joining HSCN.
For more info read the HSCN Buying Guide.
Step 4 - connect to HSCN
To connect to HSCN you'll need to:
- pick a supplier
- pick the services you need
- submit your HSCN Connection Agreement
Your supplier will provide you with details of any steps you'll need to make at the site, or sites, where you'll be connecting to HSCN.
We'll be working with suppliers to arrange installation dates for new customers as required.
If you'd like more info on any of the steps in the customer journey you can contact us at email@example.com.
There's also more detailed guidance on HSCN on the rest of our website - see the related pages below.