Procuring and deploying Wi-Fi

04 March 2020

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust decided to procure a fully managed solution via Wi-Fi Spark using a dedicated internet circuit and allowing the supplier to install their network equipment (Gateway and router etc.) within its segmented secure network environment (DMZ).

This solution is available across all of the trust’s hospital sites, providing an overall wireless coverage of approximately 80% to 90%.

However, all patient care areas have Wi-Fi coverage.

The free Wi-Fi service has access to a 100mb internet dedicated internet circuit ensuring enough bandwidth is available for users to access a basic internet service.

To ensure that patient and public Wi-Fi is easy to access to all users, the trust has a ‘click and connect service’.

The user is required to accept some terms and conditions, including an acceptable user policy that directs the user to the local trust webpage.

There is a filtering capability to prevent access to known unacceptable sites and cyber security methods in place via the supplier Wi-Fi Spark.

Ahead of rollout of Wi-Fi for patients and the public, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust worked closely with the communications team to keep everyone informed at all times of progress ensuring non-technical terminology was used.

The Wi-Fi service has been introduced as a fully managed service to reduce/remove the impact on care settings.

It provides full segmentation of corporate and patient access to the trust network and Internet, reducing the threat potential for both the trust and patients.

In addition, it has provided extra capacity for the trust employees to use their own devices, reducing the delays currently caused in network access by clinical and corporate users, reducing clinical and corporate risk.

Improved availability and reliability of the Wi-Fi network has resulted in clinicians and practice staff using it more.