"Connecting patients and staff to the outside world"

About: Highbury Hospital

(as a relative),

Being in any hospital can be an isolating experience. Many people, including my relative feels cut off from the outside world. He misses being able to watch his favourite programmes and being able to surf the web. For many, access to the Internet and social media has become an essential part of our day to day lives. The ability to stay in touch with family and friends is also incredibly important to some patients.

hospital trusts that have free wifi for patients report improved experience and improved outcomes; it also helps patients to stay linked with the outside world; there are also obvious benefits for staff having internet access. Examples of trusts who have listened to patients needs are mid Yorkshire and Nuneaton but there are many more who recognise the importance of free wifi access.

I would like Highbury hospital to seriously consider implementing a free wifi service for its patients and staff. Any security concerns can be addressed by installing a guest wireless controller, which creates an encrypted wifi network for patient use. This ensures that there are no security issues...in effect creating a separate but connected network for patients. The trust could also implement a acceptable use policy.

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Responses

Response from Paul Sanguinazzi, Head of Involvement and Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Paul  Sanguinazzi

Thank you for your posting and for your suggestions and ideas around installing wifi for patients.

We realise that it is important for people in hospitals to stay in touch with family and friends and to be able to be able to connect with the outside world. Having wifi for patients is one way of doing this and it is something we have begun to look into.

We already have wifi in some of our buildings for use by staff. I will raise the issue of having wifi for patients with our Health Informatics Team and our clinical services as there will be a number of issues including costs and security that we will need to look into. Thank you for your examples of other Trusts that have free wifi they could be helpful to learn from. Once we have considered this issue we will let you know via Patient Opinion what our thoughts and any proposals are.

Thanks

Paul

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Update posted by it'salwaystherighttimetodotherightthing (a relative)

Thank you for your response and for giving consideration to this important issue. I look forward to hearing about any proposals for taking this forward.

Response from Amy Gaskin-Williams, Service User and Carer Involvement and Experience Manager, Involvement Team, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

picture of Amy Gaskin-Williams

Hi,

On behalf of Paul, I wanted to update you on the progress made so far in enabling access to wifi for patients.

I'm pleased to report that one of the wards at Highbury Hospital, Redwood 2, is now providing wifi access for patients. They have implemented a weekly voucher system (which is entirely free) and so far, it seems to be working very well. I must acknowledge the Highbury Live! project which I understand has been instrumental in making this happen.

If the trial on Redwood 2 is successful, the intention would be to replicate this on other wards at Highbury (and potentially at other Trust sites).

As you mention, we may need to consider a fair use policy and there may be circumstances where it is inappropriate for individuals to have access to wifi, either temporarily or for the full duration of their time in hospital. However, the Trust absolutely recognises the benefits of being able to connect to the outside world, to family and friends and to recovery resources online when in hospital.

I'm not sure whether this is benefiting your relative yet but I hope that if they are still at Highbury, or need to be in the future, they'll be able to take advantage of this development and will feel less cut off from the world.

Thanks again for raising this issue - your feedback, along with feedback we've received from patients and other family and carers, has pushed us to make this change and as you said, it has the potential to make a big difference.

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