Patients in England will be able to access free Wi-Fi in GP practices by December 2017 under a new scheme announced by NHS Digital.
General practices will receive NHS Wi-Fi by 31 December 2017, enabling patients to link in with local health clinics and services for enhanced digital care.
Patients will be able to connect through NHS.UK which will host national healthcare information alongside content from GPs and CCGs. Information about local clinics and health services will be included and patients will be able to download health apps and browse the internet.
David Corbett, NHS Wi-Fi Programme head at NHS Digital, said: “The introduction of free Wi-Fi services across NHS primary and secondary care locations is a response to feedback from patients and staff. It will provide an efficient, reliable and secure platform that will enable patients and carers to access and utilise digital health and care services. This will support improved patient experience and help patients to take more control and have more involvement in the delivery of their care. It will also provide clinicians and other NHS staff with greater access to online information, services and tools which will support them to deliver better care, and ultimately improve clinical outcomes.”
The 187 CCGs that have received the funding to rollout Wi-Fi services will need to source a commercial supplier that can meet the national Wi-Fi standards developed by NHS Digital.
Plans are also in place to rollout Wi-Fi to hospitals and the rest of secondary care by December 2018. The first secondary care trusts are expected to receive funding this year.