Hospital beds to get wired

PATIENTS at Ipswich Hospital could soon be surfing the internet while waiting for their wounds to heal, after an announcement today that every bed will soon have access to the world wide web.

PATIENTS at Ipswich Hospital could soon be surfing the internet while waiting for their wounds to heal, after an announcement today that every bed will soon have access to the world wide web.

Each of the 800 beds in the hospital is set to get a bedside television, telephone and internet and email access as part of a package of developments by The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.

The television will be free but patients wanting to use the telephone and internet will be charged – although the costs have not yet been set.

And in future it is hoped the system will be used by doctors so patients' notes can be seen nationwide.


You may also want to watch:


Essential fire safety work is also being done at the Heath Road hospital alongside redecorating to make safer and more welcoming wards for patients.

The trust has been told it must upgrade its fire safety to meet national standards.

Most Read

The entertainment package, PatientLine is already running at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital.

Chris Dooley, acting chief executive of the trust, said: "We are taking this opportunity to introduce PatientLine – a national NHS initiative to give each patient their own bedside television, telephone and internet access – at the same time as we are doing the fire safety work to minimise disruption.

"It is a very big project which will continue for many months but we are doing all we can to limit disruption for patients."

Founded in 1994, PatientLine is part of a national scheme, which has seen the service provided in hospitals throughout the region.

The first hospitals, including Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, went online in late 2002 when web or e-mail access cost 4p per minute.

Telephone calls from the bedside cost patients 10p per minute while calls to the bedside cost 39p per minute during off-peak times and 49p at other times.

Patients have a choice of watching 16 television channels and are offered a complimentary hour of TV viewing each day.

For a full day's viewing prices range from £1.90 to £3.50 while television is free for all children under 16.

All radio stations are free.

The company's website states: "PatientLine is focussed on providing services for patients and remains committed to improving the hospital experience.

"PatientLine works in partnership with NHS Trusts to deliver a range of focussed solutions designed to reduce hospital staff workload and thereby improving patient care."

Wards at Ipswich Hospital are being closed while the work is done but the trust has assured patients services will not be affected.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter