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Kcom secures second aggregate HSCN contract

Network services provider Kcom will supply broadband connectivity over the Health and Social Care Network to 10 health organisations in the north-east of England

Hull-based networking, communications and IT services provider Kcom has secured a second aggregate Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) contract, this one in the north-east of England.

The three-year contract, which is worth nearly £500,000, will see Kcom supply managed HSCN connectivity to 10 organisations, enabling them to share information and work efficiently across a common, secure platform.

Among the organisations taking part in the North East Aggregated Procurement (Neap) process – which is one of a number of aggregate HSCN procurements around England – are Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Teesside Hospice Care Foundation and South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council.

“We are delighted to have been chosen by NHS Digital to deliver HSCN services in the north-east. This continues a winning streak for Kcom that shows health and social care organisations up and down the country trust Kcom to deliver these major network transformations,” said Iain Shearman, director of national network services at Kcom.

“This latest award shows Kcom is making great strides as the go-to provider of connectivity and IT solutions in this exciting sector.

“We are now looking forward to working closely with health and care organisations in the north-east, as well as NHS Digital, on making HSCN a success and delivering a great service to the public,” said Shearman.

The NHS Digital-backed aggregate procurements are designed to help de-risk HSCN procurement, ease the transition away from the legacy N3 NHS broadband network, and support cross-body collaboration.

Two such procurements have now been awarded – one in Yorkshire and Humberside to Redcentric, and the other in London to Kcom.

Other aggregate procurements are taking place in the Midlands, north-west, south-east and south-west, and more than 25 collaborative procurements run by NHS organisations themselves are also understood to be in the works. According to NHS Digital, private sector organisations are tending to run their HSCN procurements independently.

As of the end of April 2018, 13 suppliers besides Kcom were fully accredited to offer live services on HSCN, above target, and around 300 organisations accounting for 6,000 sites – thought to be around 55% of the health service’s estate – had launched HSCN procurements. If the project remains on track, this figure will have risen sharply during May and June.

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