Hospital provides free Wi-Fi for patients

Carl St. George

Caption: Carl St George, a patient on an orthopaedic ward at Colchester General Hospital, uses free Wi-Fi to research holidays in Iceland where he is keen to see killer whales.

7 October 2016

Patients in all wards and department at Colchester General Hospital can now access the internet thanks to the introduction of free Wi-Fi.

The hospital has just started providing the service to patients and staff less than a year after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that free Wi-Fi should be made available in all NHS buildings in England.

It means that patients can use their smart phones or other devices, such as laptop computers, to access the internet or keep in touch with family or friends via email or social media such as Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp.

Darren Atkins, Associate Director of ICT [Information and Communications Technology] at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We live in an online world and free Wi-Fi is becoming more widely available by the day.

"We're certain that patients will welcome this service because it seems that virtually everyone these days accesses the internet and not just younger people, such as those on our Children's Unit."

One of the first patients to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi is Carl St George, 50, an engineer from Clacton who has been in hospital for over a week.

Mr St George, who is on an orthopaedic ward, has had two knee operations after a cycling accident.

"Apart from my knee, I feel fine and being able to use my laptop and smart phone has helped reduce the boredom," he said.

"I've been researching holidays on the internet and have also used my laptop to do some work."

Free Wi-Fi service provided by WiFi SPARK. Please note that streaming video or downloading large files is not available. Find out more about how to listen to radio or watch TV at Colchester General Hospital wards.