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NHS-wide Wi-Fi is an “unaffordable luxury”, BMA says


12 August 2015

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The scheme to introduce wireless internet service across all NHS premises has been deemed an “unaffordable luxury” by an IT health expert.

Grant Ingrams, deputy chair of the IT subcommittee of the BMA General Practioners Committee, argued that free wi-fi in hospitals is too luxurious during a financially difficult time for the health service.

The scheme to introduce wireless internet service across all NHS premises has been deemed an “unaffordable luxury” by an IT health expert.

Grant Ingrams, deputy chair of the IT subcommittee of the BMA General Practioners Committee, argued that free wi-fi in hospitals is too luxurious during a financially difficult time for the health service.

Due to the predicted £30m deficit by 2020, he told the British Medical Journal that it would be “unethical” to divert money from front line clinical services or other technological needs to a service that would be mainly used for entertainment.

He fears that patients could come into hospitals to use the wi-fi, leading to overcrowding. Ingrams also predicted that staff will be taken away from looking after patients needs to deal with issues about filtering and logging on.

Instead the moneyshould be used to improve patient safety and NHS efficiency, such as improving outdated IT systems, particularly the transfer of records between practices, he added. 

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