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The service, which replaced NHSnet, began its roll-out in 2005. By enabling electronic communication between different elements of the NHS, it supports Choose and Book, the NHS Care Records Service, electronic prescriptions, transfer of patient information and many other initiatives which are a part of the National Programme for IT. The intention is that all NHS care providers will use N3.
Connections to N3 are strictly controlled by the NHS Connecting for Health Information Governance group, which specifies the security required and data protocols allowed under its Code of Connection agreements.
Organisations wishing to provide information or applications to their NHS partners over N3 are faced with a choice of applying for their own Code of Connection, which generally requires a considerable investment in time (typically 6 months), effort and infrastructure, or partnering with one of the restricted number of organisations (BT , Cable and Wireless and ioko) able to use their own Code of Connect for these purposes.
Many NHS organisations have now installed separate internet connections due to issues with the speed of N3[How to reference and link to summary or text].
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