Over 95% of NHS hospitals and GP practices now offer free WiFi.
Free NHS WiFi is now available in 6,749 GP practices and 212 acute, mental health and community NHS Trusts across England, says NHS Digital.
NHS Digital claims that offering free wireless internet access to patients provides a multitude of benefits.
Staying connected to friends and family using messaging services; to empowering patients to monitor and look after their own health better using digital health services; to keeping injured children entertained in A&E.
Whilst in a GP practice or hospital setting, patients are able to access information about their condition, treatment and prescriptions, which they can then discuss with their clinician. Clinical staff can also direct patients to apps that can monitor their condition, or record information that is shared with their care team to support decision making.
Patients can access apps that help them communicate with medical staff to understand their health needs better using images, photos and text.
Others may simply want to book further GP appointments or order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App.
Bury CCG, responsible for a combination of 30 GP practices and medical centres, were early adopters of NHS WiFi. Jo Panter, Practice Manager said “The practice staff have found having the WiFi to enable laptops and tablets to be used for meetings has made a really positive impact and has changed our approach to the structure of practice meetings.”
Mark Nicholas, Clinical Lead for the programme at NHS Digital said: “It’s great to have so many patients already connected to free WiFi, empowering them to take more control over their own health through access to digital services. I’m really pleased that the service is being used for such a wide variety of health reasons.”