Hosting company UKFast will offer NHS services through the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) after being announced as a supplier from NHS Digital.
UKFast supplies its cloud hosting and other services through a number of government frameworks. The move now makes UKFast the only provider to offer HSCN connectivity from a government-approved data centre.
The new HSCN delivers the procurement and management of NHS connected services and replaces the existing N3 network.
There are currently 13,500 organisations using N3 that must migrate services to HSCN by August 2020.
Head of UKFast Public Sector, Martin Knapp, said: “Modernising NHS connectivity is a hugely positive step. HSCN enables more organisations to interact and to provide high-quality, data-driven services to the NHS. N3 has been a great servant but it’s the right time for it to evolve.
“eCloud is now connected to the wider digital health ring and we’re in an incredible position to deliver hosting and cloud services directly to healthcare clients and make a huge difference to the efficiency of health and social care organisations.
“We’re also enabling SMEs to enter a market and bring innovation to the NHS, where previously it’s been a relatively closed shop. When clients connect to UKFast’s HSCN, they are automatically able to access a government-accredited cloud and a government-accredited infrastructure, which is a first.”
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “We’re meeting people from NHS Trusts who want to unlock new technologies like AI, big data and machine learning. We’re enabling them to do this by plugging in and accessing burstable cloud facilities at a moment’s notice, which is something they just can’t do on N3. HSCN is an incredibly exciting step for the UK healthcare community and we’re proud to support that development.
“It’s important that the health service knows there is a better British cloud alternative and that they have the option to buy British. The NHS needs to be certain where its sensitive patient data is, so connecting HSCN to our fully owned, UK-based data centres makes perfect sense.
“We tripled public sector revenue last year, demonstrating the demand in the market for a British public sector cloud provider, and we’re fully expecting that demand to continue.”