Patients and staff at more than 100 GP practices across Norfolk can now access free WiFi services, allowing people the opportunity to download health apps, browse the internet and access health and care information online.
The roll-out is part of NHS England’s ambitions to improve the use of technology to help people take more control of their own health.
NHS England Midlands and East is working with NHS Digital, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts on a programme to make sure that everyone can access free WiFi in NHS sites.
Across Norfolk every GP practice now provides secure, stable, and reliable WiFi, consistent across all NHS settings.
This means more than 1 million patients across Norfolk can access free WiFi while they wait for appointments, giving them the opportunity to register for GP Online Services, reschedule appointments online and request repeat prescriptions.
Paul Fleming, Regional Head of Digital Technology at NHS England Midlands and East, said: “More and more GP surgeries are coming online with free WiFi which is allowing improved access to health information, controlled by appropriate technology. Along with other developments, we have seen an increase in satisfaction for patients and reduced frustration and wasted time for practice staff.”
Staff in GP practices are also benefiting from the WiFi to sync mobile devices to load patient records for home visits securely and to use laptops and tablets in meetings.
Stephen Cook, Information Management and Technology Lead at Wolverhampton CCG, which was the first CCG in England to implement free WiFi to patients added: “As the first CCG in England to implement free WiFi to patients in all of our GP member surgeries, we have noticed that our uptake of GP Online access increased following the implementation.”
“Staff at our GP surgeries are also able to care navigate people to other online sources of health care help such as the public health One You campaign easily using the free WiFi.”