About this episode


During the course of 2018, the NHS made a massive move towards a digital world.

After 16 years with a single Supplier, NHS Digital decided to change the largest private network in Western Europe and created the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), a model built around a set of obligations and a multi-supplier marketplace.

These obligations were developed in conjunction with Innopsis to ensure that the different suppliers’ networks work together, in terms of technical compliance, service management and governance.

Envisaging a market of around eight suppliers, NHS Digital is pleased to see that, as a result of the interaction with Innopsis that around 20 suppliers are now HSCN Stage 2 compliant and ready to deliver services.

The next stage will be to move more applications to the Public Cloud for delivery with access being made available via a variety of routes, from HSCN to Public Internet to 4G and 5G mobiles and, where appropriate, many by Fibre Connections.

In this episode, Lynne Magennis of Innopsis talks to Patrick Clark from NHS-Digital and Matt Agar from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for more background on the Future of HSCN





Matt Agar

Matt Agar

BDUK Head of Commercial Design and Strategy, Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport


Matt Agar has been leading BDUK’s commercial work since its creation in 2010 and is responsible for commercial strategy, design and assurance for each of Government’s delivery programmes for broadband connectivity – including establishing the approach for the Local Full Fibre Networks and Rural Gigabit Connectivity programmes, which are helping to connect public sector sites, SMEs and residences with full fibre. Matt has been a telecoms / IT / infrastructure commercial professional for 19 years and leads BDUK’s team of commercial, legal, financial, technical, State aid & regulatory and data modelling specialists to achieve Government’s full fibre ambitions and rural broadband objectives, including supporting network operators to invest and deploy new network infrastructure across the UK.

Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark

Programme Director, Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) Programme, NHS Digital

Programme, Project and Service Director with substantial experience in directing and managing complex, large scale, cross organisational initiatives. Most recently directed national delivery of secure IT infrastructure and a variety of shared services across HMG and NHS.

About this Episode

About HSCN:-

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) provides a reliable, efficient and flexible way for health and care organisations to access and exchange electronic information.

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is a new data network for health and care organisations which replaced N3. It provides the underlying network arrangements to help integrate and transform health and social care services by enabling them to access and share information more reliably, flexibly and efficiently.

Health and care providers are able to obtain network connectivity from multiple suppliers in a competitive market place and in collaboration with other health and social care organisations.



About BDUK

Building Digital UK (BDUK), part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is delivering superfast broadband and local full fibre networks to the nation. The government:
  • is supporting investment to provide superfast broadband coverage to as many premises as possible beyond the 95% level achieved in December 2017
  • is also introducing a broadband Universal Service Obligation so that by 2020 everyone across the UK will have a clear, enforceable right to request high speed broadband
  • has provided access to basic broadband (2Mbps) for all for those who do not currently have coverage otherwise
  • supports the stimulation of private investment in full fibre connections through a programme that is currently funded through March 2021

Superfast Broadband Programme

  The government has ensured superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps or more) coverage for over 95% of UK premises and has provided universal access to basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps). You can check whether superfast broadband is available in your area using DCMS’s superfast broadband postcode checker and find out more details about what is happening in your local area using DCMS’s  Google Map If you have broadband access which is less than 2Mbps you can find out what options are available to you using the Basic Broadband Scheme site More information on the government’s approach to delivering superfast broadband is available in the UK Next Generation Network Infrastructure Deployment Plan.