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Internet First

Health and care services now have an Internet First policy that states new digital services should operate over the internet. Existing services should also be updated to do the same at the earliest opportunity and ideally by March 2021. NHS Digital owned services will be updated or replaced to meet the Internet First policy.

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Internet First policy and guidance

This is the Internet First policy, standards and guidelines defined by NHS Digital.

Our services add the most value when they are readily available to the citizens, staff, services and third parties who use them to deliver high quality healthcare.

It requires careful consideration to make services available over the internet. The internet differs from private networks in terms of availability, performance and integrity.

The Internet First policy and guidance is aimed at owners of digital services in health and care. It provides practical support to make digital services available over the internet. It brings the industry best practice principles, standards and guidelines for internet presentation together into one place.

To hear more about the Internet First programme, listen to the Delivering Internet First broadcast or download the slide deck from 18 September 2019. You will need to register to access these documents.

HSCN connectivity

Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is designed to provide high quality, security enhanced and best value internet connectivity for the health and social care sector. It also provides ongoing access to systems and services not yet accessible over the internet. We encourage health and care organisations to obtain their internet connectivity as a HSCN service.


There are no current upcoming events.

If you wish to be notified of future Internet First workshops and webinars, please subscribe to the Internet First mailing list.

Contact us

If you have any questions about Internet First, please:

Related pages

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    The NHS Long Term Plan

    This plan sets out how the NHS will accelerate the redesign of patient care to future-proof the NHS for the decade ahead.

Last edited: 9 January 2020 4:26 pm