Essex hospital improves visitor wi-fi

Southend Hospital’s two year wireless success is being taken to the next level, says its IT team

[Essex, UK] A local hospital is making its free wireless connectivity available to even more parts of its site, in a preview of what more NHS users can soon expect.

Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust says the move is to deliberately enable more visitors and patients to connect to the Web in more areas of the hospital than before.

So long as users agree to the terms of use, they can start browsing quickly and easily with just a couple of clicks, says the organisation.

The free service, originally launched by the Trust’s IT team two years ago, has been extended to new locations including the emergency department, day surgical unit, paediatric outpatient department and a nearby chemotherapy unit.

The extension followed a lot of work with the hospital’s medical equipment management service to update wireless heart monitors - a move the team undertook to ensure the extra wi-fi could never interfere with any essential medical equipment.

New hot spots

“I’m delighted that we have been able to expand the coverage of our free guest wi-fi service to other areas of the hospital,” confirmed its Head of IT, Alan Tuckwood.

“This technology has given us the opportunity to use our existing investment to deliver the free service for our patients, visitors and guests to enhance their experience.

Tuckwood says that feedback “has been very positive”, and that the wi-fi expansion will provide “even more flexibility for our patients and guests” while they are visiting the hospital.

Signs will be in place to clearly identify the new hotspots where users can connect to the wireless network on their smartphone or tablets.