Public WiFi network provider The Cloud has struck a deal which will see hospitals in Wales benefit from free WiFi access.
The deal struck with the ABM (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board) will see patients and visitors in the Morriston, Neath Port Talbot and the Princess of Wales hospitals able to get online for free.
Specific wards at Singleton hospital will also get free access as will Cefn Coed Hospital and the ARC Centre in Bridgend which are both partially covered by The Cloud.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to The CloudThe cost of introducing The Cloud has been paid for by reinvesting some of the savings made by the ICT department. Patients will no doubt appreciate the benefits of being able to keep in touch with friends and relatives on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp as well as download games, films and music to pass the time.
The Carl Mustad, Head of ICT Operations at ABM says that patients are delighted with the service which was accessed by more than 7,000 people within the first week. Mustad added: “We chose The Cloud because it’s a respected and well-established WiFi provider offering a service our patients know and trust.
“We hope that having this offering in place will improve the quality of their time in hospital – letting them surf the web but also providing opportunities for us to gain valuable patient feedback to improve our service even further in the future.”
A report from April 2013 revealed that two-thirds of clinicians said that free WiFi would improve patient care, helping staff as well as providing patients with a window to the outside world.
Andy Blofield director of Plymouth ICT Shared Services told EHI Insider: “For patients there is a great benefit to staying connected with friends and family and the world outside during what can be an anxious time in hospital. Staff have told us that free WiFi would make a real difference and we felt it was important to listen to this request and deliver modern facilities in a modern hospital.”
Social media campaigner John Popham has also long argued for free WiFi for patients online and has been active in pushing for this since 2011.