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Continued focus of QoS ensures high levels of service on N3

Since it was launched more than 12 years ago, the N3 network has transformed the way the NHS has worked. Today, it underpins many of the services the NHS relies on from transmitting medical images, sending hundreds of thousands of prescriptions electronically each day, to ensuring internet access is available even in times of unprecedented demand and booking appointments.

Without a continued focus by The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and N3SP on providing world class quality of service none of this would be possible.  Today, N3 enjoys some the best quality of service in the industry, helping to ensure continuity of service and continued high level of services. Making this possible is a world-class quality of service (QoS) data network which priorities network traffic to ensure that key traffic has precedence over what is less important. This ensures that services such as Choose and Book, the Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions and the transmission of images such as X-rays and scans take priority.

HSCIC sets the overall QoS policies applied to different parts of the N3 network and there is an annual ‘QoS Refresh' programme, where HSCIC work with N3SP to ensure the QoS policy remains optimal for NHS clinical and business operations. 

The latest QoS refresh recorded a staggering 99.9% success rate in updating all customer premises equipment connected to the N3 network and involved resetting routers at more than 18,000 sites without any loss of service. This equipment was updated to the latest access control settings and ensures network traffic is prioritised correctly.

Should you wish to learn more about QoS or enable any local applications not currently included, please contact the N3 Helpdesk (0800 085 0503 option 3) for further detail on the process, or to check that the application is not already in plan. For further information, please see the Quality of Service General Overview


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