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NHS WiFi in secondary care

NHS WiFi is being put in place in a small number of NHS trusts, before it is rolled out to mental health, community and acute trusts across the country.

NHS WiFi will provide a secure, stable, and reliable WiFi capability, consistent across all NHS settings. It will allow patients and the public to download health apps, browse the internet and access health and care information.

NHS secondary care trusts are responsible for choosing a supplier that can provide an NHS WiFi standard compliant system which suits their needs, and working with them to implement it across their local NHS sites. The chosen system must be based on a set of icon policies and guidance [262.88KB] defined by NHS Digital.

On this page

What NHS Digital will do to support the implementation of NHS WiFi in secondary care settings
What NHS trusts need to do to implement NHS WiFi in secondary care
Funding to implement NHS WiFi in secondary care
Timescales for NHS WiFi in secondary care
Procurement - buying WiFi services for NHS WiFi
Reporting on your NHS trust's progress with NHS WiFi implementation
Reporting on usage of NHS WiFi in secondary care settings
Support and maintenance of NHS WiFi
Encouraging awareness and helping patients get online with NHS WiFi
Contact

What NHS Digital will do to support the implementation of NHS WiFi in secondary care settings

NHS Digital will provide:

  • the standards and requirements that NHS WiFi solutions must meet, including using standardised landing pages and standardised usage reporting: see How to set up NHS WiFi in secondary care settings
  • capital funding contributions to NHS Trusts (via the Department of Health) for the roll-out of WiFi services
  • help with support and access to subject matter experts (e.g. technical, commercial, benefits etc.)

What NHS trusts need to do to implement NHS WiFi in secondary care

NHS trusts must:

  • assign a named project manager to oversee the process and act as the primary point of contact for their trust with the NHS Digital WiFi project team
  • design a solution that meets NHS WiFi standards and requirements and fulfils local needs
  • choose a supplier to provide the solution and buy it from them (procure it)
  • tell local stakeholders what is going to happen and when
  • implement the chosen NHS WiFi compliant solution in secondary care settings locally, following local ICT policy
  • report progress to NHS Digital at defined stages of the process
  • advise patients on NHS WiFi availability and make sure icon posters and marketing materials [555.38KB] are available within the trust.

Funding to implement NHS WiFi in secondary care

The level of funding each NHS trust will get is based on a categorisation of each trust. NHS trusts have been assessed to be small, medium or large based on the number of sites and the size of the clinical delivery area. The funding will be provided by the Department of Health. We will be writing to NHS trusts individually with the funding allocation and arrangements. Budget allocations are always gross and no separate allocations are made for non-recoverable VAT.  NHS trusts will need to ensure correct treatment of VAT including recovery for contracted out services where this applies.

Timescales for NHS WiFi in secondary care

August 2017: A letter has now been sent to each of the 16 Trusts selected to take part in the initial delivery phase. These are:

  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust
  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
  • James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

31 December 2017: All secondary care settings participating in the first stage of delivery (known as the 'priority cohort') must have compliant WiFi in place and accessible to patients and the public.

31 December 2018: All remaining 'in scope' secondary care settings must have compliant WiFi in place and accessible to patients and the public.

Procurement - buying WiFi services for NHS WiFi

NHS trusts can choose whether to:

Sites that already offer WiFi

Where a site already has wifi you should discuss the new NHS WiFi standards and requirements with your supplier and agree how they will make their system compliant, and how long this will take.

Aggregated procurements: partnering with other trusts

NHS Trusts can also aggregate their procurement by partnering with other organisations to save money. WiFi has already been rolled out in a number of GP surgeries as part of a primary care initiative and some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) found it saved time, money and effort to combine procurement with neighbouring CCGs. We recommend you consult with other NHS trusts in your region to see if this is possible.

Reporting on your NHS trust's progress with NHS WiFi implementation

If you are responsible for implementing NHS WiFi for your NHS trust, we need you to tell us when:

  • your trust starts the buying process (procurement)
  • a supplier is chosen and contracted
  • implementation starts
  • WiFi is available to all staff, patients and the public

An online form for reporting progress is being developed and we will discuss this with your nominated project manager once it is complete. A progress map will be updated periodically to show how NHS WiFi implementation is progressing across NHS trusts in England. This will be activated when reporting starts.

Reporting on usage of NHS WiFi in secondary care settings

Each NHS trust will need to submit periodic usage reports for NHS Wifi in secondary care settings, so that we can monitor how much it's being used. Reporting should start from the month after your NHS WiFi programme funded implementation is complete. You will need to make sure your chosen WiFi solution is set up to collect the right information. See the 'Reporting on usage of NHS WiFi in secondary care settings' section on How to set up NHS WiFi in secondary care settings.

Support and maintenance of NHS WiFi

NHS trusts are responsible for working with providers to arrange support that meets local needs.

Encouraging awareness and helping patients get online with NHS WiFi

Download the icon NHS WiFi in secondary care publicity materials resource pack [555.38KB] , which contains printable posters, images for screen display and images for social media, to help raise awareness in your area.

Contact

Contact the team directly on nhswifi@nhs.net

NHS WiFi pages

How to set up NHS WiFi in secondary care settings

Full technical guidelines, network specifications and technical reporting requirements.

Guidance for NHS Trusts on planning the NHS WiFi procurement and implementation process

Important factors to take into account in planning your project.

Have a question? Call us on 0300 303 5678 or contact enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk.

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