Free NHS WiFi in primary and secondary care units – NHS Digital

We’ve pooled together a number of resources to support trusts with their WiFi implementation.

Please click the links below – no forms, no data capture, just information that we hope will make your life easier.

  • The government has made it compulsory for all NHS sites across England to have a fully functional, and compliant WiFi service in place for patients, staff and visitors by 2018.

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

    By 31st December 2018, all secondary care settings must have compliant WiFi in place and accessible to patients and the public (subject to approval of funding).

    Funding will be provided by the Department of Health and Social Care, and the level of funding each NHS trust will receive will be based on a categorisation of trust size.

    Care trusts are responsible for choosing a supplier that can provide an NHS WiFi system which suits their needs, and working with them to implement it across their local NHS sites.

  • 2015

    • 02 December 2015

      Dame Martha Lane Fox recommends free WiFi in every NHS building

    • 13 December 2015

      Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt announces free WiFi is to be provided in all NHS buildings in England in a bid to improve services and reduce costs


    • 20 April 2016

      Tom Denwood, Health and Social Care support director, said the NIB hopes to issue guidance to NHS organisations by June 2016 on how to provide free WiFi


    • 30 June 2017

      Funding confirmed to CCG

    • 01 August 2017

      16 trusts selected as ‘priority cohort’ in the initial secondary care delivery phase

    • 31 December 2017

      Deadline for all GP practices and ‘priority cohort’ to have compliant WiFi in place and accessible to patients and the public


    • 01 January 2018

      33 trusts selected as ‘fast followers’ to take part in the second stage of delivery

    • 31 March 2018

      All secondary care settings participating in the second stage of delivery (‘fast followers’) must have compliant NHS WiFi in place

    • 30 April 2018

      Funding expected to be confirmed for remaining secondary care trusts

    • 31 December 2018

      All remaining ‘in scope’ secondary care settings must have compliant WiFi in place and accessible to patients and the public (subject to approval of funding)

  • Which business units could find additional benefit from this project?

    In order to get the maximum level of value from this project, it may be helpful to think about the other business units within the trust that might benefit. Below we have outlined who the most likely beneficiaries are.

    Business UnitWhat responsibilities does this business unit have?How will patient wifi help this business unit?
    • Developing and implementing the communication strategy for the trust
    • Drive clinical messages through communication campaigns and activity
    • Make patients and visitors aware of the available facilities
    • Identify actual patient and visitor segments of people in your hospital for targeted messaging
    • Drive targeted messaging and engagement through social channels identified that are popular with patients and visitors
    • Ability to gain feedback in real-time for improvement
    Patient Experience
    • Understanding the experience during a patient’s time within a hospital
    • Collecting and understanding feedback through friends and family surveys
    • Running initiatives that will improve the experience for patients and their visitors
    • Delivering surveys to patients after they have completed their time at the hospital
    • Delivering friends and family surveys automatically, immediately after they have left the hospital
    • Enable patients to stay in touch with the outside world through social media access and video calling applications
    • Offering secure, efficient, continuous, seamless technology to support patients in the pursuit of improving their health
    • Aligning technology with NHS goals
    • Meeting the NHS Digital technical requirements while remaining within budget
    • Out of the box functionality that meets NHS Digital requirements
    • Simple and easy implementation by working with a vendor that overlays on WiFi technology
    • Finding maximum value from across the trust by aligning projects across the organisation
    • Maintaining legal compliance
    • Spending efficiently and keeping an eye on the bottom line to ensure profitability
    • The ability to measure the benefits that WiFi are providing to the trust and its patients
    • Has a chance to gain credibility by providing additional value to the trust
  • Partners


    Redcentric is a leading UK IT managed services provider that offers a range of IT and cloud services designed to support organisations in their journey from traditional infrastructure to the Cloud, and hybrid combinations in between.

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    2,800+ companies take cloud, IT and network services from Exponential-e. Through a fusion of complementary technologies, Expo-e deliver enterprise applications at wire speed for a superior end-user experience.

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    Pinacl offers a range of solutions to enable digital transformation and shape smart places (including Internet of Things) for customers, empowering them in their businesses, with a range of managed services to build and support their data, voice, server and cloud infrastructures.

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    Softcat are one of the UK’s leading IT infrastructure providers and a FTSE 250 listed company. Softcat are passionate about outstanding employee satisfaction and world-class customer service – both of which inspire their flexible, friendly approach to business.

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    Capita is the UK’s leading provider of business process management and integrated professional support service solutions. Capita have 70,000 dedicated staff across the UK, Europe, South Africa and India helping make processes smarter, organisations more efficient and customer experiences better.

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    Cisilion offer expertise across a large range of solutions, including: IT infrastructure, collaboration, security, cloud & data centre and IT services. With relevant IT accreditations and awards within these fields of expertise, Cisilion enterprise customers vouch for their excellence.

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    CAE Technology Services is an leading IT infrastructure services reseller. CAE enable and support the adoption of relevant technology for a wide range of clients.

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    SCC enable people to do business by planning, supplying, integrating and managing their IT. SCC make IT work through partnership, knowledge and passion.

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    CDW is a premier provider of technology products and services for business, government and education. CDW have an international presence in both private and public sector IT, and through their global supply chain provide products and services in over 150 countries.

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    Cisco Meraki

    Meraki has grown to become an industry leader in the IT space, with over 200,000 customers and 2 million network devices and counting online around the world. Meraki’s comprehensive set of solutions includes wireless, switching, communications, and more.

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    Riverbed Xirrus leads the way in high-performance wireless networks that can keep up with any demand. Give users consistent, “wired-like” performance plus superior coverage and security.

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