"Lack of Internet/Wi-Fi"

About: NHS Orkney

(as the patient),

During a stay in hospital I expected to get online to friends as they tried to contact me but could not get anywhere as I was told that the patients and families had no access due to hospital security.

For a starter I am not interested in their confidential business so why not a separate connection and service for patients like they have in most hospitals these days.

I spent time in ARI Aberdeen a good few years back and had access 24/7 if I wanted it. Why is it not possible to have a similar system here?

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Response from Julie Tait, Patient Experience Officer, NHS Orkney

Dear Holy Moses

I am very sorry to hear that you did not have access to wifi or internet during your stay in the Balfour Hospital. I can appreciate how frustrating and disappointing this must have been for you. Unfortunately this would appear to be a case of staff not being aware of some of our IT developments.

We introduced public wifi in May of this year, free of charge, so that any patient or visitor could use it. Staff should be aware that the login details for this are available to them on the internal staff blog and that they can give this information to patients or visitors to the hospital.

It would appear we have an issue with it being more widely known about in our ward areas and I would like to thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.

I have contacted our IT Manager who will do an article for our staff newsletter on the availability of the wifi and this should get to every member of staff. I have also contacted our Internal Communications lead who will think how else we can highlight this issue with staff.

Also for your information, if patients and visitors use the public wifi network then there are no security issues because we keep the public and hospital networks separate. We are also aware that there may be some areas in the hospital where there is little or no coverage but are relying on feedback to be able to plug these gaps in coverage.

Although I appreciate that this comes a little late for you, I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback as it will allow us to try to rectify the situation so as other patients do not have the same experience.

If I can be of any further help, please don't hesistate to contact me on the contact details below.

Kind regards

Julie Tait

Patient Experience Officer

email: julietait@nhs.net tel: 01856 888221

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Update posted by Holy Moses (the patient)

Hello Julie Tait

Thank you for your response. I was not aware that the Wi-fi had been introduced to patients in the wards but am delighted to hear it. I was in there at the end of last year when it was not available so I did ask the staff about it and was told it was because of Hospital Security so I accepted that but was still not happy about it.

It is a long day in there when you are just lying there 'trying' to mind your own business but being distracted by nosiness about other patients which I realise was all wrong. Truthfully, I got a bit fed up but read a lot and tried to behave as the staff were very busy people - to be admired for what they do when so busy. First Class professionals.

One small thing - patients throughout the country complain about hospital food - dare they do so in the Balfour as it is first class, very tasty and nutritious. To be recommended.

Best wishes and thank you again.

Holy Moses

Response from Julie Tait, Patient Experience Officer, NHS Orkney

Dear Holy Moses

I am very pleased to have been able to help.

And thank you very much for your comments about the staff and the food. I will make sure to record this in our compliments.

Kind regards


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Update posted by Holy Moses (the patient)

Thank you, I feel I have said enough as I got an answer to my question (or gripe as you may call it) and I am happy with that.

As for the staff ---- 1st class.

This ends with me now. Thanks.