Healthy level of wi-fi service for local hospitals

NHS Lothian will be rolling out free wi-fi services between July and the end of the year.
NHS Lothian will be rolling out free wi-fi services between July and the end of the year.

Free wi-fi is to be introduced across NHS Lothian hospitals by the end of the year, the health authority has confirmed.

The move follows a successful pilot scheme conducted in May at St John’s Hospital in Livingston which was accessed by 4,635 different devices over the course of the month.

Research by the Scottish Conservatives revealed that NHS Lothian is the only health board in Scotland not to provide free wi-fi to patients and guests and local MSP and shadow health secretary Miles Briggs has been campaigning for the service to be made available.

In a recent letter to Mr Briggs, NHS Lothian confirmed that the Western General Hospital will have wi-fi rolled out in August while the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh plans to have wi-fi by the end of this year.

The health authority has also committed to providing fully operational wi-fi in place for when the Royal Hospital for Children moves to its new site later this year.

Mr Briggs said: “NHS Lothian has been the last health board in Scotland to introduce wi-fi for patients and guests, but I am pleased that this is now happening.

“Long stays in hospital can be dull for patients, so access to wi-fi is important for letting patients keep in touch with loved ones and know what is happening in the outside world. I will be contacting NHS Lothian later this year to make sure that they are on track for the delivery of wi-fi to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh by December.”