In a bid to help reduce costs and improve the use of technology within the health service, the Government has called for all NHS Organisations in England to provide free WiFi access to all patients and visitors, following a recommendation in a report commissioned by the Government and former UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox.
A £1bn technology fund is being made available to support the decision and improve inconsistent service across the UK, as at present some hospitals are charging their patients and visitors for access to the internet whilst others aren’t providing anything at all.
Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt has said: “Everyone using the NHS expects it to be a world leader in digital healthcare and free WiFi is an essential part of making that a reality. It will give patients and staff the ability to access the services they need as well as freeing up clinical time and reducing overall costs.”
No deadline has yet been set for it to be available, but the Government expects that by 2020 the NHS will be fully ‘digital and paperless’.
The announcement has however given some officials in the NHS cause for concern over the risks which surround opening their networks to external users, with many asking the question about security and how this will affect the work of clinical and non-clinical staff.
It’s with this concern, that the importance of implementing a reliable security Web Filter becomes a high priority within these organisations.
Using a solution such as Smoothwall can help secure public healthcare networks whilst still providing advanced connectivity services. This will give the upper hand in being able to effectively manage bandwidth for business critical services to maintain staff productivity along with providing a better patient experience via a filtered internet service.
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