Networking and communications services provider Kcom has secured the £13m Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) Once for London contract after being selected as the preferred bidder for a city-wide aggregated procurement covering 34 health and social care bodies in the capital.
NHS Digital is running a number of aggregated procurements around the UK, with the intention of helping de-risk HSCN procurement and transition for smaller organisations, and to encourage collaboration across regions.
In May 2018, the first such aggregate procurement contract, spanning 65 organisations in Yorkshire and Humberside, was awarded to Redcentric.
Stephen Docherty, CIO at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the London CIO Council, said: “It’s really pleasing to see that the Once for London approach – a result of collaboration with colleagues in NHS Digital, Crown Commercial Services and representatives of health providers across the capital – has successfully concluded.
“We look forward to working with KCOM in delivering new HSCN network capabilities, a key step towards the delivery of integrated care across London. HSCN will help health and social care organisations to share data securely and efficiently, ultimately working towards joined up public services for London.”
“HSCN is a great example of how public and private sector networks can work together effectively and use innovative technology to improve health and care outcomes for the public,” added Kcom director of national network services business, Ian Shearman.
“We are now looking forward to working closely with health and care organisations as well as NHS Digital on making HSCN a success.”
The three-year Once for London contract spans customers across London, including Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust; and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
Kcom will supply more than 800 managed connections, enabling these organisations and more to share information and work more efficiently on a common, secure and reliable platform.
The supplier achieved Stage 2 HSCN compliance – which means it can begin to provide live connections to the new network – earlier in 2018 after demonstrating it could meet HSCN obligations through extensive testing, and submitting detailed designs for its proposed service to NHS Digital.
However, the process of gearing up for HSCN – which replaces the legacy N3 broadband network run by BT – began some time ago, and Kcom has been designing national customer networks with HSCN in mind for some time, building on its existing experience of working with NHS customers.