NHS Digital has awarded BT a five-year contract to provide Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) services to trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the South-East of England.
Under the terms of the contract, 24 NHS organisations across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex and Kent will be able to place orders for a range of communications services from BT as they transition onto HSCN.
The company said the services will revolve around its managed ethernet network and extend to clinical applications, unified communications, mobile applications and cloud communications services.
Trusts and CCGs will be able to choose the connections to use technologies, such as digital voice services, video conferencing, superfast fibre broadband and high speed Wi-Fi.
Danny Longbottom, director of local government and health, BT said the contract include enhanced security features for dealing with sensitive patient data.
BT said that a survey of NHS organisations conducted on its behalf by iGov in 2017 found that nearly three-quarters of respondents anticipate that HSCN’s biggest benefit will be allowing health and social care providers to work more closely together, and that 40% of organisations are looking to move to cloud based solutions.
The announcement comes four months after the award of a similar contract for the Yorkshire and Humber region to IT managed service provider Redcentric.
HSCN has been developed as a replacement for the NHS N3 broadband network and extended to other care providers to support the integration of health and social care. Last year the lead officials at NHS Digital, which is managing the network, indicated that they would encourage a gradual approach to take-up with an early emphasis on the organisations directly migrating from N3.
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