The NHS has increased its N3 national broadband network capacity to 5 Gbps, and improved traffic prioritisation.

One million healthcare staff use the network, which was updated to a 3 Gbps capacity in spring as videoconferencing was expanded. N3 carries 250 terabytes of data each month.

N3 is often seen as one of the more successful elements from the highly troubled NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), in which the failed the electronic patient records rollout has been officially "abandoned".

Traffic on N3 is now prioritised according to clinical and business need, using a system from supplier Zscaler, with emergency communications working the fastest.

John Abbott, chief executive for N3 at BT, the service provider, said the upgrade was delivering "a faster, more sophisticated internet service for the NHS, and an improved capability for accessing healthcare applications".