All NHS buildings will be equipped with free WI-Fi, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has announced.
The media have reported that the move is a part of a larger scheme to make the NHS fully digital and completely paperless by 2020. By offering free Wi-Fi, the NHS is not only closer to that goal, but will also be able to lower prescription errors could be halved, while the staff’s reactions to changes in a patient’s health could be sped up.
By using wearables connected to the local Wi-Fi, patients could allow medical staff to be alerted to issues more quickly. At the same time, the Wi-Fi could make way for a greater use of e-prescriptions, thus cutting medication errors by 50 per cent, according to the Department of Health.
All of this was made possible by the £1 billion technology fund, The Independent wrote in a review.
At present, some buildings offer no access to Wi-Fi at all while others charge people for using it. It is not known how many facilities offer it for free, but it is known that all buildings will offer Wi-Fi.
Mr Hunt said: “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.”
The move was recommended in a report commissioned by the government and Martha Lane Fox, when she was the UK’s digital champion.