About this Episode

The recently issued Internet First; Policy and Guidance from NHS-Digital has created a concern with the statement that the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is a temporary transition network residing in time between the N3 network and the Internet.

Across the Public Sector, the proposal to migrate services to the Internet is accepted. HSCN, in many respects, is technology agnostic with additional controls and service assurance that supports NHS drive to digital, therefore Innopsis sees use of the Internet as complementary and not a radical change in direction.

The N3 network existed for 16 years supplied by a single organisation. At the end of the contract, a transition arrangement was put into place allowing NHS users to transition to the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN). This network is built by multiple suppliers, of all sizes, working to a common set of Obligations with a variety of connectivity options available. This transition is still undergoing, with the first wave of connections starting at the end of 2018, following competitive procurements. During 2019, the majority of the N3 connections will be replaced by HSCN connections. The aim is that by 2020 all connections will be on HSCN rather than N3. This activity sets the foundation going forward.

One interpretation is that recent policy paper means that the 34,000 HSCN connections will be now replaced by Internet connections? Has the procurements and investments by Industry and Consumers alike been a waste of time?  To help clarify the NHS-Digital’s position, Lynne Magennis talks to Jill Sharples, the Programme Head for the NHS-Digital Internet First Programme.

Jill Sharples

Jill Sharples

Programme Head Platform, Infrastructure and Live Services: Internet First Programme


Jill has been a Programme lead for the NHS for around 10 years focusing on IT related programmes, rising from a Programme Manager to a Programme Head.

Prior to joining NHS, Jill spent her earlier career in Industry, again in the IT market and the Insurance field.

Jill lives with her family in Sheffield.

Lynne Magennis

Lynne Magennis


Lynne is the Innopsis Director focused on Podcasts and Design.

From a chemical process research background she has moved into the telecommunications business. Her day job is working for the Daisy Group.

 Outside work will find Lynne tending for her horses and dogs in the Home Counties.

About this Episode


About Internet First:-


NHS Digital has published the Internet First policy and guidance to assist owners of digital services in health and care to make their services available over the internet.  This supports the UK government strategic direction and the Internet First architecture principles. The Secretary of State described these in his ‘vision for digital, data and technology vision for health and care’ in October 2018, for digital services to be accessible over the internet 

NHS-Digital are consulting with health and care organisations and digital service suppliers to understand the potential impact the Internet First policy and guidance could have on them and to find out what further support is required.  

HSCN provides the ideal underlying network connectivity to support the increase in demand for internet connectivity as health and care organisations implement the Internet First policy. HSCN continues to provide private connectivity to access systems not yet available over the internet. 

NHS Digital will commence full consultation with the commercial sector, health and care sector and central government on the development of a complimentary network operating model. Consultation is expected to commence in early summer 2019.

If you’d like to know more about Internet First please contact the team internetfirstenquiries@nhs.net