Update on N3 service arrangements
An agreement to continue to fund the N3 service from April 2014 has been established by the Department of Health, Cabinet Office, NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) this week.
N3 provides connectivity and broadband services across the NHS. The N3 Contract is managed by BT, with individual access circuits provided by a range of suppliers and available to be purchased by local organisations on rolling contracts, with some central funding support.
The latest agreement is part of a transition arrangement to ensure the continuation of live services whilst a replacement service is procured.
The key features of the agreement are that:
- the current national network service provider (N3SP), BT, will continue to have responsibility for delivering the national network service during the transition;
- existing funding arrangements have been approved until 2015;
- customers can continue to place orders and benefit from the full range of N3 services including voice, video, mobility and remote access through the web-based Customer Relationship Management System (CRM).
With the NHS going through a major transformation, the volume of information is on the increase and data flows are becoming more complex. The procurement of a successor service will ensure that national network provision:
- supports the changing requirements of the NHS and the wider care system;
- continues to maximise the opportunities provided through new technology;
- facilitates greater interoperability and information sharing; and
- is fully compliant with the Public Services Network (PSN) to enable improved connectivity between organisations across health and social care.
Detailed transition arrangements are being drawn up to ensure a safe and planned transition process, which will run between 2015 and 2017.