What is HSCN?

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is a new data network for health and care organisations.

HSCN will provide a reliable, efficient and flexible way for health and social care organisations to access and exchange electronic information.

By reducing complexity, standardising networks, enabling service sharing and extending the parameters of collaborative working, it will save money, enable information to be reliably shared and help health and social care staff work together in more effective and efficient ways.

You can now become an HSCN supplier

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) supplier compliance application process is live and you can now apply to become an HSCN connectivity supplier.

In order to do this you will need to make a formal application on behalf of your business, follow the supplier compliance process and demonstrate adherence to the HSCN Obligations Framework. All the information and documentation you require can be found on the NHS Digital website.

NHS Digital is actively encouraging network suppliers to submit applications at the earliest opportunity to enable participation in HSCN procurements planned from January 2017 onwards.

The HSCN central infrastructure will be established by the summer of 2017 and we expect HSCN suppliers to start provisioning live HSCN services following this. Should you have any questions about becoming an HSCN supplier please contact us compliance.hscn@nhs.net

NHS Digital and industry collaboration

The HSCN supplier compliance arrangements have been established through close collaboration between NHS Digital and the telecommunications industry to ensure they are practical and maximise supplier participation in the HSCN marketplace.

The Industry Association, Innopsis, are running supplier compliance workshops for prospective HSCN suppliers across the country early in 2017. Details of these events will appear here.

The HSCN opportunity

The market for HSCN connectivity services represents a significant opportunity for network suppliers. The vast majority of health service providers will be looking to procure HSCN connectivity over the next 18 months either through their own procurement activity or via one of a series of aggregated procurements that NHS Digital will be running during 2017/18.


In addition a great many social care organisations will increasingly be looking to obtain HSCN connectivity to improve their ability to join up health and social care and transform service delivery.

Connecting care

One of the key steps that the UK government has taken to address these healthcare challenges is the move to a ‘Cloud First’ policy of new technology procurement. The aspiration to create a truly digital NHS should be close to reality, as the health service reaches its deadline to become paperless by the end of the year. Nevertheless, it’s a steep challenge, and one that many hospitals are not ready to take on in reality. They need help.