Wireless innovation trials to improve patient care
Wireless Technology

New wireless technologies to help improve patient care and strengthen connectivity in A&Es and ambulance bays are being trialed across seven NHS Trusts.

These trials are being funded by a £1 million boost as part of NHS England’s Wireless Trials programme, which seeks to make the most of pioneering wireless technologies to provide the best care and experiences for patients, while freeing up more staff time to spend with their patients.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is one of the institutions that will benefit from the trial. They will be testing the approach of combining satellite and cloud-based wireless solutions to enhance connectivity across their 10 hospital sites and wider community services.

Dan Prescott, group chief information officer at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As one of the country’s largest NHS trusts, it’s essential that we can provide continuous patient care with minimum disruptions."

He added that the Wireless Trial is aiming to "create a reliable, fast and secure network access solution to address unexpected connectivity issues, even in areas of poor-connectivity."

Trials will be introduced to the North West and East of England ambulance services, where there will be a roll out of improved wireless connections in A&E and ambulance areas, speeding up the transfer of essential patient care data from ambulances to hospitals.

Another project run by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust will introduce a new app that allows staff to take observations on tablets and smartphones by a patient’s bedside, reducing the time spent typing up patient notes and providing more time to spend with patients.

Also, a trial at the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust will wirelessly link modern diagnostic devices with the trust’s electronic patient records system, speeding up assessment time for patients.

Previous wireless trials included the development of University College London Hospitals’ Find and Treat service, which uses high-tech tools and software to provide real-time remote diagnosis and referrals on board a mobile health unit. The service provides remote screening, testing and treatment for vulnerable, homeless, and high-risk people in London.