HSCN connectivity funding

Summary

HSCN connectivity funding arrangements will support the adoption of network services. The arrangements will enable flexibility in the commissioning and provision of new services that meet local needs.

From 01 April 2017 central funding - currently used to pay for NHS N3 connectivity - will be devolved to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and trusts as a contribution towards legacy N3 connectivity and future HSCN connectivity.

All allocations will include funding to cover the costs associated with setting-up new HSCN services.

Confirmation of the HSCN funding available for financial year 2017/18 was sent during June 2017.

Confirmation of the HSCN funding contribution available for financial year 2018/19 was sent during February and March 2018.

A HSCN connectivity funding contribution will be provided for:

  • GPs
  • CCGs
  • NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts

GP funding

From 01 April 2017, CCGs will be responsible for the commission and provision of HSCN services for general practice.

These responsibilities are documented in an addendum to the GP IT Operating Model, Securing Excellence in GP IT Services, 2016-18.

CCGs are expected to start procurement of HSCN services on behalf of GPs during 2017/18 followed by migration.

CCGs have the option to join aggregated procurements managed by NHS Digital on behalf of the NHS.

The funding contribution for GP connectivity is assured as part of the General Medical Services contractual commitment to fund GP IT costs. Prior to 2017/18 this was centrally funded by the Department of Health. From 2017/18 it has been delegated to CCGs with 2017/18 allocations in line with the legacy N3 costs that are now payable directly by CCGs.

2018/19 GP funding

In 2018/19 the funding contribution provided for GP connectivity is based on:

  • service costs associated with legacy wide area network (WAN) connectivity expected to remain in place throughout 2018/19
  • service costs associated with HSCN connectivity expected to have replaced legacy WAN connectivity during 2018/19
  • set up costs (equivalent to 16 months rental costs amortised over a 3-year period). 
  • the number of GPs a CCG covers

Funding in 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be on the basis outlined above for 2018/19 but adjusted for further HSCN migrations to the new lower cost connections. Post 2020/21, CCG allocations will be increased recurrently for HSCN costs, following completion of all migration activity, and will thereafter receive annual uplifts in line with the rest of primary care allocations. 

CCG funding

CCGs are expected to initiate procurement of HSCN services during 2017/18, followed by migration to HSCN services. We recommend early engagement with GPs to outline network requirements and procurement approaches.

CCGs have the option to commission and buy HSCN services for themselves, and their primary care organisations within a single procurement. CCGs also have the option to join aggregated procurements managed by NHS Digital on behalf of the NHS.

Whilst the funding contribution for corporate administration flows through the CCG baseline allocations, the Department of Health has historically made a discretionary contribution to the cost of certain types of network to NHS organisations.

In December 2016 the Digital Delivery Board approved the provision of a limited and tapering contribution towards the ongoing cost of WAN connectivity to NHS organisations over the lifetime of the HSCN business case to 2020/21. This funding will flow non-recurrently through the CCG baseline allocation.

This tapering contribution is designed to provide a financial incentive for organisations to move away from more expensive legacy services and to provide transitional financial support as the system moves to a position where network connectivity is funded solely from CCG baseline allocations, as per other utility services.

2018/19 CCG funding

In 2018/19 the contribution is based on:

  • an equitable contribution (based upon your historic N3 costs) towards service costs associated with legacy WAN connectivity
  • an equitable contribution towards service costs associated with HSCN connectivity
  • a contribution towards set up costs (equivalent to 16 months rental costs amortised over a 3-year period)

Contribution in future years will cover the same points above and will be determined each year during central business planning processes based on affordability.

Trust funding

The HSCN funding contribution for NHS and foundation trusts' connectivity is accessed via an online application. Regional Migration Managers (RMMs) will support all trusts through the process.

There are three types of application that will trigger funding at specific stages. An overview is given below and is accompanied with more detailed guidance.

Whilst the funding  contribution for trust activity is provided via commissioners through local or the NHS national tariff, the Department of Health has historically made a discretionary contribution to the cost of certain types of WAN connectivity to NHS organisations.

In December 2016 the Digital Delivery Board approved the provision of a limited and tapering contribution towards the ongoing cost of WAN connectivity to NHS organisations over the lifetime of the HSCN business case to 2020/21.

This tapering contribution is designed to provide a financial incentive for organisations to move away from more expensive legacy services and to provide transitional financial support as the system moves to a position where network connectivity is funded solely from tariff (as per other utility services).

2018/19 trust funding

In 2018/19 the contribution is based on:

  • a fair share contribution (based on historic N3 costs) towards service costs associated with legacy WAN connectivity
  • a fair share contribution (based on business volumes) towards service costs associated with HSCN connectivity
  • a contribution towards set up costs (equivalent to 16 months rental costs amortised over a 3-year period)

Contribution in future years will cover the same points above and will be determined each year during central business planning processes based on affordability.

Trust funding application 1 for legacy N3 connectivity

To secure funding for legacy N3 connectivity for financial year 2017/18, all trusts were required to complete Application 1 and demonstrate their plans to procure HSCN connectivity.

If you have any questions regarding your trust's Application 1 submission please contact enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk.

Trust funding application 2 for ongoing legacy N3 and new HSCN connectivity

To secure a funding contribution for ongoing legacy N3 and new HSCN connectivity, all trusts will need to demonstrate that they have completed procurement of HSCN connectivity services and provide an estimated service migration date.

This will allow the continuation of the funding contribution for legacy N3 connectivity prior to migration to HSCN services, and for new HSCN connectivity once migration is complete.

Be aware that:

  • you should submit the application after selecting your HSCN supplier
  • you'll need to provide evidence of your commitment to a contract for HSCN connectivity by uploading an order form from your selected supplier and confirming contract start and end dates
  • you'll also need to confirm your migration plans

Open the trust funding application 2

Trust funding application 3 for funding following migration to HSCN

To secure a funding contribution following migration to HSCN, all trusts need to confirm they have completed migration to HSCN and ceased N3 connectivity services.

This will allow NHS Digital to continue to provide a funding contribution towards connectivity for organisations that migrate to HSCN in a timely fashion.

Be aware that you should submit the application after your migration to HSCN is complete and when all transition network (legacy N3) connectivity has been ceased.

Open the Trust Funding Application 3