NHS’ Health And Social Care Network Goes Live With First Customer Crescendo Systems

Crescendo Systems, a digital dictation and clinical records management firm, has become the first customer on the new networking framework

The NHS’ Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) has officially gone live with Crescendo Systems, a third-party digital dictation and clinical records management firm, as its first customer.

© Monika Wisniewska - Fotolia.comThe network was designed and built by NHS Digital, and succeeds the N3 network for connecting health and social care organisations.

It allows users to select from a range of private networking suppliers, which are available not only to NHS organisations, but also private practices, support organisations and third-party firms such as Crescendo.

It is intended to provide a reliable and flexible way to access and exchange patient records and other electronic data.

Successful launch

“The successful launch sends out the message that HSCN is now open for business and there are so many great benefits that organisations can take advantage of by signing up for the service,” stated Tom Denwood, senior responsible owner for the HSCN Programme at NHS Digital.

The first NHS organisations are expected to migrate from N3 to HSCN over the winter, including Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Devon Doctors.

All organisations that previously used N3 have transition plans in place and the rate at which new HSCN customers are connected is set to ramp up over the course of 2018, peaking in the middle or later in the year. All organisations are expected to make the transition by August 2020.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is currently running a procurement for a dynamic purchasing system framework for data access connections to HSCN to help speed up the connection process.


The network was tested at NHS pilot sites over a period of three months before going live, with NHS applications including the Spine portal, Summary Care Records, Lorenzo, eReferrals and Electronic Prescription Service successfully tested.

Crescendo connected with MLL Telecom, one of 15 suppliers currently with HSCN compliance.

“The first connection to the new Health and Social Care Network is a critical milestone in the journey towards patient centred care,” stated Dermot Ryan, director of the HSCN Programme at NHS Digital. “We now look forward to more organisations taking advantage of the innovation, cost savings and enhanced security capabilities of the network and to creating a thriving market for network services in health and social care.”

Ian Wilcox, MLL’s health sector business development director, said the new network would make it easier for smaller businesses to compete with large telecommunications firms for HSCN services, in line with government priorities.

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