"Brand new hospital but no WiFi"

About: Southmead Hospital / Neurosurgery

(as the patient),

I was taken by ambulance in emergency to Southmead. Had an op for a subdural haematoma on a Saturday. Had to lie flat for 48hours.

However being in a single ward with nothing to do was dreadful. There was no TV, radio or wifi. Other patients had relatives who seem to have brought in books, radios etc but as I was over 50 miles from home I could have no visitors.

A brand new state of the art hospital with not even patient accessible wifi is disgraceful.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Steven Sykes, Advice & Complaints Team Manager, North Bristol NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Jenb – I was sorry to read of your story and apologise for the lack of entertainment facilities you experienced during your stay.

Unfortunately, the timing of your operation meant that you attended the new Brunel Building before the Wi-Fi is working. It was important to use the new facilities as soon as possible as part of the redevelopment plans and this has meant some “finishing touches” are still being completed.

While I know this will not redress your situation, please be assured the Wi-Fi infrastructure is now completed (4th July 2014) and following testing the Trust expect it to be available to all patients by the middle of July.

Due to the prevalence of mobile phones and tablet computers the Trust took a conscious decision not to install bedside media access, in line with other businesses such as some airlines, etc. Demand for the bedside facilities has been falling over recent years due to the improvements in mobile device technology, and we aim to allow rental of tablet devices if there is a demand.

Thank you again for your feedback, I hope you feel that this aspect of patient care was considered and that action is in hand to address your concerns.

Kind regards -

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by jenb (the patient)

I appreciate your response. Having been admitted to Musgrove Park Hospital when I first sustained my fracture I paid £15 for TV and phone which is extremely costly. However surely wifi can be put into a building as an integral part of the second fix? I did pick up a secure network which is obviously for hospital use? So why were patient's needs left till later?

Response from Steven Sykes, Advice & Complaints Team Manager, North Bristol NHS Trust

Dear Jenb - thank you for your further comment. The simple answer is that against the pressure to move services into the new building a soon as possible, in order for the further stages of the redevelopment to proceed, the internal infrastructure had to precedence for health and safety reasons. Regrettably this means some services such as the Atrium retail outlet and patient Wi-Fi were not the first priority.

In retrospect, a different priory could have been set for this service, but concerns about this issue have been limited.

Once again I am sorry for your poor experience.

Kind regards

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful