By the end of March 2017, almost 1,000 GP practices will provide free Wi-Fi for patients as part of a national programme to roll it out across the health service.
GP practices in 20 early adopter CCG areas - in London, Bolton, Newcastle and other parts of England were granted funding to support the move and plan to set up the free Wi-Fi service From 31st March. This is part of a national programme to implement free Wi-Fi across the National Health Service (NHS) by 2019 in both primary and secondary care.
A total of 991 GP practices are in the areas set to deliver the service first. The patients will be able to access the free Internet via smart phones or tablets from their GP practice waiting room. The Internet will be accessible via an nhs.uk landing page 'which will host national healthcare information beside locally generated content from the general practice or CCG'.
NHS Digital says five million patients will benefit from the first wave of free Wi-Fi. By Spring 2019, Wi-Fi will be rolled out across all NHS locations, including hospitals.
Juliet Bauer, the Director of digital experience at NHS England said installing free Wi-Fi in NHS buildings is “an vital step in the delivery of a digital healthcare experience.
She said the Patients will be able to access their GP record online through the Patient Online portal, empowering them to take more of an active role in considering and managing their condition, which leads to better health outcomes.
The director of digital transformation at NHS Digital, Beverley Bryant said the NHS Wi-Fi is now open and the Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that are joining in the early adopter phase are keen to invite industry suppliers who can get on board and be part of delivering this digital milestone for health and care.
She further added that the NHS Wi-Fi is necessary for securing the long term future of NHS services by providing access to the modern health technology which will help medical professional in their work and allow patients to make well-versed choices in their treatment and care.
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