All English GPs to have Wi-Fi by end of year

NHS Digital says services will operate through landing page on NHS.UK

NHS Digital has reiterated its intention to provide free Wi-Fi to all English GP practices by the end of the year, promising that patients will be able to access the internet free of charge in waiting rooms.

Lights on Wi-Fi routerIt announced in February that some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were signing up as early adopters, and has now said the internet access will be available through an NHS.UK landing page. This will also host national healthcare information alongside locally generated content from the general practice or CCG, such as information about local clinics and health services.

The organisation said that 187 CCGs have now received funding to source Wi-Fi services that meet its standards from commercial providers.

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."

Patient purpose

Patients will be able to use the service to access and download health apps, link with local health clinics and services, look up health and care information and browse the internet.

NHS Digital said the Wi-Fi should be available in all GP offices by 31 December. The plan also reflects an element of the General Practice Forward View from 2016.

Plans are also in place to roll out Wi-Fi to hospitals and the rest of secondary care by December 2018, with the first secondary care trusts expected to receive funding over the next few months