New Wifi has been put in place across University Hospital Southampton (UHS) that allows patients and visitors to stream video and audio for free, thanks to funding by Southampton Hospital Charity.
The service allows people to keep in touch with family and friends via social media sites as well as streaming messaging services such as Skye, Facetime and WhatsApp.
They can, of course, also use it to browse, pay bills, bank online, shop and even watch TV or play music (with headphones).
Southampton Hospital Charity has invested £200,000 in the Wifi as part of its commitment to enhance patients’ and visitors’ time at the hospital.
And this is important as it will enable them to do normal things they would at home, as well as access entertainment and keep in touch with people while at the hospital.
There was already basic Wifi available across parts of the hospital, but the funding has meant this now covers the entire site and allows free streaming. It also includes safeguards to ensure inappropriate material cannot be viewed.
The system was put in place by the hospital’s in-house IT team working with private firm Hospedia as well as NHS Digital.
Matthew Hine, Commercial Development Manager for University Hospital Southampton, said: “This will make such a difference to our patients and their families.
“The contribution made by Southampton Hospital Charity has enabled UHS to become one of only a small number of Trusts in the UK to offer free streaming.
“We thank the charity and we also thank those whom have made a donation or contribution.”
Southampton Hospital Charity Director Jason Shauness added: “We are really pleased to be able to contribute to free Wifi media streaming for patients and visitors to the hospital.
“One of our main aims at Southampton Hospital Charity is to improve and enhance people’s time at UHS as well as provide facilities to improve patient care.
“Free Wifi media streaming will really help make their time here much more manageable.”
Investing in Wifi media streaming is one of numerous projects Southampton Hospital Charity has funded for patients and their families thanks to donations and fundraising efforts from members of the local and wider community.
These have included, within the past few years, a neonatal ambulance, a new state of the art children’s emergency and trauma department – which will open later in the year – and many smaller but no less important schemes across the hospital trust.
To find out how you can contribute or to donate online, please go to www.southamptonhospitalcharity.org or alternatively call 023 8120 8881.