Patients and visitors to the Great Western Hospital are now able to access Wi-Fi, making it easier for many to stay connected, find information and fend off boredom.
Any visitor will be able to access the internet using their own laptop, tablet computer or phone, from Wi-Fi hotspots around the hospital, including wards, waiting areas and the hospital restaurant.
Fifteen minutes of free browsing time will be given to all patients, visitors and staff each day, with the option of buying more as part of a pay-as-you-go service, with prices starting from £4.50 for 24 hours.
Wi-Fi access will be free for cancer and renal patients in Dove, Osprey and the Day Therapy Unit who often have to spend long periods of time in hospital. It will also be free for private patients in the Shalbourne Suite.
Kevin McNamara, Director of Strategy at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This should make a big difference to the experience of some of our patients. Coming into hospital can be quite isolating and going online will allow patients to access social media, stay up-to-date with the news and even keep in touch with friends and family with virtual visits. It will also be useful to visitors and allow staff to browse the web more easily during their breaks.”
The Trust has teamed up with internet provider WiFi Spark to offer the service, who already provide similar services to NHS Trust’s including Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Heart and Chesterfield NHS Foundation Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Information on how to access your free 15 minutes and prices for the pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi service are on the trust’s website.