Free Wi-Fi for the NHS, promises health secretary Jeremy Hunt

More patient apps, that's what failing hospitals need

The NHS is apparently being given an early Christmas present of £1bn for free Wi-Fi across all hospitals, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said today.

Cash is being made available from a £1bn to improve patchy Wi-Fi services in hospitals, he said.

It claimed turning on free Wi-Fi access across the NHS estate could significantly increase take up of online health tools.

Such a move would allow patients staying in hospital to self-monitor their conditions using apps and reduce admin time for doctors and nurses, claimed the report.

It would seem the move is part of the department's plan to go paperless by 2020. However, the paperless goalpost has already shifted from 2013, when Hunt promised the NHS would rid itself of paper by 2018.

"Everyone using the NHS expects it to be a world leader in digital healthcare and free Wi-Fi is an essential part of making that a reality.

"It will give patients and staff the ability to access the services they need as well as freeing up clinical time and reducing overall costs," said Hunt.

The move follows a recommendation in the government-commissioned report by UK “digital champion” Martha Lane Fox earlier this month on ways to improve online technology in the health service. ®

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