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Free Wi-Fi now available at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

It's being introduced to improve the patient experience.

Patients, relatives and visitors to Chesterfield Royal Hospital will find it even easier to keep in touch with their friends and family – thanks to free Wi-Fi that’s gone live today.

The service – available on all in-patient wards, in out-patient clinics, the Emergency Department and in public areas including cafes and coffee shops – is designed to improve patient experience.  With smart phones and tablets for social media, games, apps and internet browsing now part of most peoples’ lives, a trip or a stay in hospital now enables access to all of these. 

The project, a partnership between the hospital, NHS Digital and service provider Hospedia, is part of a national initiative to make sure that all NHS sites have free Wi-Fi available.  Associate Director of ICT at the Royal, Ian Hazel comments: “We’re delighted to launch free Wi-Fi today.  It’s something the IT team has been working towards to improve the technology we can offer our patients and visitors on site. 

“It’s reassuring to know that even whilst in hospital, you can send a message, check e-mails and see posts from friends and family on social media like Facebook or Instagram.  The ability to keep in touch means people feel less isolated and more relaxed, which in turn can support better recovery.  Being able to contact loved-ones about what to bring, what time to visit and arrangements for going home makes the whole experience far less stressful.”

Free Wi-Fi won’t allow users access to streaming services or make video calls – and some sites will be blocked to users.  The Trust will also be asking patients to be mindful of others when they’re using their own device, with volumes kept low or headphones on.

Director of Nursing & Patient Care, Lynn Andrews is also supportive of the idea: “This is another example of how we’re improving the experience our patients have when they are with us.  We’ve just been rated GOOD overall by the Care Quality Commission and collectively, developments like this, will help us on our journey to get that all important OUTSTANDING award. 

“For anyone used to using their phone or tablet every day, it will make a real difference to how they feel about a hospital visit or stay.  It will also mean we can use the Wi-Fi to improve how we get patients’ views, support children in hospital with their on-going education and show people where to go on-line for the best support and advice to help their recovery.  It’s a real asset all round.”

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