HSCN Access Services, or the Health & Social Care Network  Access Services Agreement (RM3825), allows buyers to access a range of qualified & compliant suppliers to supply a range of data services.  Soon all NHS organisations will be required to procure HSCN connectivity.

Crown Commercial Services launched a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for this framework in November 2018.

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is replacing the old N3 network and is expected to be worth up to £500 million in the next 6 and a half years. The HSCN will hopefully provide a reliable, efficient and flexible way for health and social care organisations such as NHS, Trusts, CCGs Local Authorities etc. to access and exchange electronic information. Once their N3 contracts expire, HSCN Access Services framework is used to allow suppliers to bid for this work.

DPS for HSCN Access Services

The move away from a framework to a DPS model was done with suppliers and particularly SMEs in mind, reducing certain barriers to entry and enabling compliant suppliers to join over time. While there are some similarities between a DPS and a more traditional Framework such as Network Services (RM1045), this approach will be different in several ways:

  • New suppliers can be added throughout its duration and there is no cap on the number of suppliers.
  • Therefore, the Tender process does not include an official Award Stage.
  • Suppliers complete their Pricing at the Call-off stage, rather than at OJEU stage.
  • There is no specific maximum duration, unlike the usual 4 years.
  • The initial duration stated in the OJEU may be altered.

The authority must generally make a decision to admit a supplier within 10-15 days and will be based on a selection questionnaire process, including a DPS-specific questionnaire.

The agreement’s Scope of Services…

…aim to provide connectivity for the NHS and wider health and social care providers, which fall into 2 categories:

  • Access connectivity services, which are either:
    • Between a site and a centrally-hosted service,
    • A point-to-point data-only connection between customer sites,
    • Or associated supplementary services.
  • Overlay services, which include:
    • VPN services,
    • Voice services,
    • Video services.

As someone working with the healthcare sector for quite a while we know it can be challenging. But it can be achieved! We’ve been working with Advice Cloud for a year now and really value the support given to us.

Nigel SloneManaging Director at Sollis

The timeline for HSCN Access Services…


OJEU Contract Notice dispatch13 October 2017
Open DPS to bidders to request to participate16 October 2017
Initial period for responding to bidders questions16 October 2017 – 06 November 2017
Initial period for accepting requests to participate16 October 2017 – 13 November 2017
Anticipated DPS Live Date24 November 2017


Please note that all suppliers that wish to join the DPS will need to become HSCN Stage 1 Compliant. The DPS application process has been simplified and removes the traditional lengthy framework tender process, reducing the cost and resources required. Once on board, suppliers will be able to bid to deliver their services to public sector organisations across the UK. There is a helpful page on the NHS Digital site that can assist your understanding of the requirements to become HSCN Compliant.

To hear about our services and how we can help you to access this marketplace, please contact us on 0330 124 4224 or fill in our Contact form

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