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03.07.20

Telecoms deal benefits half a million NHS frontline workers

Almost 500,000 NHS frontline staff in England have benefited from mobile and fixed broadband offers to stay connected at work during the coronavirus outbreak, following an agreement reached between the Government, NHS and telecommunications companies.

The agreement, reached in April, saw 29 mobile and fixed broadband providers agree to prioritise connectivity improvement for NHS frontline staff.

Connectivity is a core essential within health and care, particularly with the coronavirus outbreak shifting a significant proportion of staff and patients to remote working and consultations. As part of the agreed deals with UK telecoms providers, NHS staff saw improved and prioritised access to mobile data, voice calls and texts on personal mobiles for work purposes.

Broadband improvements were also covered in the deals where possible, so NHS clinicians working from home could perform tasks such as consultations through video conferencing and review radiology images with much greater ease.

Now, data has shown almost half a million NHS staff have claimed directly from their provider or through the NHS triaging system, in order to take advantage of the agreement.

READ MORE: NHS technology sees 38% surge in usage during coronavirus outbreak

READ MORE: Adapting and Innovating

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: “We’ve depended on our NHS heroes throughout this crisis and I am glad we’ve been able to provide this package of support from our brilliant telecoms companies to keep them connected.

That so many frontline staff during this difficult time are benefitting from the mobile data, calls and texts they need at no extra cost is no less than they deserve.”

Minister for Care Helen Whateley added: “NHS staff have been at the frontline of our battle against this disease and I am hugely grateful for their expertise and dedication in caring for patients during this difficult and unprecedented period.

“This agreement has helped NHS staff stay connected with their colleagues and patients and allowed them to work flexibly from home, ensuring patients continue to get the care they need.”

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