NHS WiFi in GP practices

Summary

NHS WiFi is being rolled out to GP practices in England.

Top tasks

View the technical policies and guidance for NHS WiFi in GP practices

Download NHS WiFi posters and marketing materials to make users aware of the service in your GP practice.

Local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for choosing a supplier that can provide an NHS WiFi compliant system which suits their needs, and working with them to implement it across their local GP practices. The chosen system must be based on a set of policies and guidance defined by NHS Digital. It must be in place by the end of 2017, as stated in the GP IT operating model.

We at NHS Digital, the CCG and the individual practices all have their own responsibilities in implementing NHS WiFi in GP practice.

What NHS Digital will do

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
  • funding to CCGs (via NHS England) for the roll-out of WiFi services, covering implementation and running costs for the first 2 years
  • help with support and availability of technical and commercial expertise

What CCGs need to do

CCGs must:

  • assign a named project manager to oversee the process and act as the primary point of contact for their CCG 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 GP practices and other local stakeholders what is going to happen and when
  • implement the chosen NHS WiFi compliant solution in GP practices locally, following local ICT policy
  • report progress to NHS Digital at defined stages of the process

What GP practices need to do

GP practices must:

  • allow the selected supplier or in-house team reasonable access to their site for all the survey, installation and commissioning work needed
  • advise patients on NHS WiFi's availability and use (posters and other marketing materials are available)

Funding

CCGs will get funding to implement NHS WiFi in general practices based on a calculation of GP surgery size. The funding will be part of the yearly GP IT fund and will come from NHS England. We will be writing to CCGs individually with the funding allocation and arrangements.

Timescales

June 2017

Letters with details of funding sent out to CCGs.

31 December 2017

Deadline for all GP practices to have compliant WiFi in place and accessible to patients and the public.

Procurement - buying WiFi services

CCGs can choose whether to:

CCGs can partner with other organisations to save money. We can give you more details on the CCS aggregated buying service. Some CCGs in the early-adopter phase found it saved time, money and effort to combine procurement with neighbouring CCGs, so we recommend you consult with other CCGs in your region to see if this is possible.

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.

Reporting on your CCG's progress

If you are responsible for implementing NHS WiFi in GP practices for your CCG, we need you to tell us when:

  • your CCG/CSU starts the buying process (procurement)
  • a supplier is chosen and contracted
  • implementation in the first practice starts
  • all practices in your CCG area have WiFi available to patients and staff

An online form for reporting progress will be sent to your nominated project manager. 

Reporting on usage

Each CCG will need to submit monthly WiFi usage reports for NHS Wifi in GP practices, 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 section on reporting on usage of NHS WiFi in GP practices on the page How to set up NHS WiFi for the minimum dataset you will need to be able to submit.

Support and maintenance

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

Encouraging awareness and helping patients get online

This NHS WiFi publicity materials resource pack contains printable posters, images for screen display and images for social media, to help raise awareness in your area.

Contact details

Contact the team directly on nhswifi@nhs.net

Further information

  1. internal

    NHS WiFi at Crystal Peaks Medical Centre

    Dr Kirsty Gillgrass highlights some of the opportunities that free NHS WiFi at Crystal Peaks Medical Centre will bring to patients, and how GP practices can use WiFi to enable more efficient ways of working to improve the patient experience.