Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Hunt commits to NHS-wide free wi-fi target

  • 5 Comments

All NHS buildings will provide free wi-fi to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience, Jeremy Hunt has pledged.

The health secretary’s commitment follows Baroness Martha Lane-Fox making the provision of free wi-fi across the NHS estate a key recommendation in her report on the NHS and digital innovations published earlier this month.

A Department of Health statement said it would be funded from the £1bn of new investment allocated for NHS technology projects in the comprehensive spending review.

Mr Hunt said: “Everyone using the NHS expects it to be a world leader in digital healthcare and free wi-fi is an essential part of making that a reality. It will give patients and staff the ability to access the services they need as well as freeing up clinical time and reducing overall costs.”

“[Free wi-fi] will give patients and staff the ability to access the services they need as well as freeing up clinical time and reducing overall costs”

Jeremy Hunt

A DH statement said: “The move will allow patients staying in hospital to download apps and learn more about their condition, stay in contact with family and friends, as well as keeping in contact with social networks that can support their recovery.

“It will also reduce the administrative burden on doctors and nurses, freeing up more time to spend with patients. Safer working practices such as e-prescribing will take place, which is known to reduce medication errors by 50 per cent.”

The DH does not have data on how many NHS organisations already provide free wi-fi and no deadline has been set for when the target should be met. It added the pledge was “the latest step” towards a paperless NHS by 2020.

CNO summit

Hunt confirms there will be consultation on bursary plans

Jeremy Hunt

At present some hospitals charge for wi-fi while others have no access at all. Some trusts are however providing free wi-fi, with the DH citing Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust and Oxford University Hospitals Foundation as examples.

Turning the NHS estate into a free wi-fi zone was already an NHS England ambition, with outgoing director of patients and information Tim Kelsey championing the policy during his tenure.

He suggested earlier this month that NHS organisations should only get a share of the £1bn set aside for NHS technology projects in last month’s spending review if they committed to providing free wi-fi.

He said: “What I would predict is that a significant amount of [the £1bn of additional capital investment] will be devolved to local health economies in order that they can begin to supportdevelopment of the digital roadmaps, on which a core standard requirement/opportunity is [providing] free wi-fi [across their estates].”

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • How will free wifi reduce my adminastrative burden?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Yep, free Wi-fi. That's exactly what the NHS needs to make everything better...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anthony Johnson

    As the NHS Action Party said, every paper states how 9 out of 10 hospitals are understaffed and worried about the impact of winter. Jeremy Hunt? "I want free WIFI!"

    The NHS Bursary cost 826 million. Instead of propagating the staffing shortage by cutting it Mr Hunt could have protected it. Or he could have given current staff a proper pay rise to halt the issues with retention and recruitment.

    He's destroying our NHS and he doesn't feel like he has to hide it behind proper excuses these days!

    Sign & share the petition:
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/113491

    And come out with us on the 9th January if you want to fight for something important:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/440660962797762/

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • They'll be studying their condition and questioning every step of the way!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And why shouldn't 'they study their OWN condition? what arrogance.
    But now Lady Fox can you please bring about what has been stated is already happening but is not.ie stop another set of 'them' charging for car parks..especially for elderly and disabled people who at the 'prestigious' University Hospital of Wales - they are charged to park and have their relatives/friends run the gammet of rain and wind to get to the hospital in wheelchairs

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs