North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is supporting patients to digitally connect with friends and family.
While visiting at trust hospitals is temporarily suspended because of the Coronavirus, the trust’s Wi-Fi provider, TNP, has temporarily increased the numbers of users that can use the service at the same time to minimise potential disruption to patients and their families.
Stephen Harrison, assistant IT manager at NCIC, said: “The number of NHS Wi-Fi users across the health economy in Cumbria that can use the service at the same time has been increased from 3,000 people to 10,000 people.
“Users normally have to re-register every two weeks in order to continue using the free NHS Wi-Fi service. TNP have increased this to six months.
“They have also extended the default NHS Wi-Fi registration to six months, which will save patients and staff from having to re-register every few weeks. These changes are in place with immediate effect, until June 30, when the supplier will review.
“Some of the restrictions on our public Wi-Fi are being relaxed which will make it much easier for patients to stay in touch with relatives on their own devices.
“It means more patients, staff and visitors are able to use the NHS Wi-Fi service at the same time.
“It accommodates the potential for more people making more video calls from our hospital/NHS sites and minimises the risk of disruption to those calls.
“It reduces the frequency people need to re-register for continued use of the free NHS Wi-Fi service, which means less disruption to people’s activity such as receiving e-mails and WhatsApp messages, for example.
“More than 1,200 people have registered/re-registered on our NHS Wi-Fi solution across Cumbria since the changes by TNP were made, and they will not need to re-register until early October 2020.
“The changes made by TNP should improve the patient experience during this difficult time and avoid potential service issues later on.”