How to set up NHS WiFi in secondary care settings

Full technical guidelines, network specifications and technical reporting requirements.

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Technical and security policies and guidelines

NHS Digital has developed policies and guidelines to help NHS organisations set up and provide NHS WiFi across health settings. Following these policies and guidelines ensures that the service will be secure, scalable and as consistent as possible. There are requirements that must be fulfilled, and guidelines that should be followed but aren't compulsory.

Download NHS WiFi for secondary care settings policies and guidance for a full list of the technical specifications your chosen solution needs to meet.

You should make sure the service you set up complies with your local ICT policies.

Wireless networks for different groups of NHS WiFi users

Each site will need different wireless networks to be available for different groups of users. As a minimum, NHS WiFi programme funding should be used to prioritise providing a public wifi network for patients and citizens, particularly in outpatient areas.

Setting up NHS WiFi landing pages

You must set up the NHS WiFiI public network so that every public user accesses NHS WiFi through a consistent NHS.UK landing page.

The NHS.UK landing page encourages the user to access:

  • important public health messaging, for example via NHS England or Public Health England
  • promoted services, such as Patient Online
  • health information, such as NHS Choices and other healthcare websites
  • Local care setting information

The provider must set up a series of two screens, which take the user through the log-in process:

1. NHS WiFi registration and enrolment screen

2. NHS.UK post-authentication screen

The process must be followed as closely as possible, to maintain any pre-existing functionality that improves local NHS services to the public, such as automated appointment check-in.

Once NHS WiFi is set up, when a return user is recognised and automatically logged in, they will be taken directly to the NHS.UK post-authorisation page.

The NHS.UK post-authentication page must be displayed to all users.

1. NHS WiFi registration and enrolment screen

NHS WiFi registration and enrolment screen example

The registration and enrolment screen (example above) will be developed, hosted and maintained by the provider. (This is just an example and doesn't need to be replicated exactly - the fields are not mandatory.) It must provide a way for users to:

  • sign up to the terms and conditions and Acceptable Use Policy they need to agree to before getting access
  • register or re-authenticate with the service

The top banner above the registration form must be NHS blue, colour #005EB8, and include the white on blue NHS logo and the text 'Register for free NHS WiFi' also in white.

2. Post-authentication screen

NHS WiFi post-authentication screen example

The post-authentication screen is hosted and maintained by NHS Digital. The provider must use this url for the landing screen, and must add the ODS code for the local care setting to the query string before calling the post-authorisation page, for example, If it's not possible to use the ODS code of the local care setting, the provider should use the ODS code of the parent organisation. Using ODS codes will enable accurate location-based services to be displayed.

The page currently contains content from NHS.UK. Later, this page will be changed to show local information and services, defined by your ODS code. The provider is responsible for managing updates and maintenance of this local information.

In the future, we will work with you to make this page display information which is relevant to the local care setting.

We're currently investigating what can be extracted from the NHS Choices Provider Information Management Service (PIMS), and will work with CCGs to agree what should be displayed. We expect this to happen later this year.

IP addressing and ports

For access to the landing pages, local url-based filtering should be based on the following: port 80 and 443

We can't provide an IP range because NHS.UK is served via a global content delivery network.

Use of branding and advertising on NHS WiFi landing pages

WiFi supplier branding and commercial advertising must not appear on the post-authentication page. Suppliers can only use their branding on the registration and enrolment page and, if used, the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) screen. Commercial advertising can only be placed on the registration and enrolment page.

Analytics for the NHS WiFi landing pages

We will collect analytics for the landing pages, and monitor click-through rates to individual landing page icons. This data will help us refine the landing pages and improve the user journey. It won't affect any tracking you are implementing.

Reporting on usage of NHS WiFi in secondary care

Once the solution is fully implemented in all secondary care settings, each trust must submit monthly reports to the NHS WiFi project team on both corporate/staff and citizen/patient activity. Reporting should start on the month after your implementation is complete.

To support the reporting requirement, your WiFi service should be configured to measure the following, for both Corporate/Staff and Citizen/Patient WiFi activity separately, for each individual NHS trust, on a monthly basis:

Number of new registrations

The accumulated total number of new registrations recorded for the WiFi service during the reporting period. A new registration is defined as the generation of a new, unique account to facilitate access for an individual to the WiFi service.

Number of unique devices

The accumulated total number of unique device connections recorded using the WiFi service during the reported period. A unique device should be defined from its MAC address used during the WiFi session, or equivalent unique identifier.

Number of sessions

The accumulated total number of sessions recorded using the WiFi service during the reported period. A session starts from the time a user uses a device to connect to the WiFi network until connectivity is stopped.

Bandwidth usage (GB)

The accumulated total amount of data transmitted/received across the WiFi service during the reporting period.

Usage time (minutes)

The accumulated length of time where active WiFi usage was recorded for all sessions within the reporting period.

Further information will follow on the process for submitting this and the reporting format. We're sharing these reporting requirements with the major internet service providers (ISPs).


For any further help, please contact

Full checklist of responsibilities for planning the implementation of NHS WiFi

Download our checklist for implementation of NHS WiFi in secondary care, for a printable list of NHS trust and NHS Digital responsibilities.