Wireless technology

Wireless technologies to better synch patient care across England

Seven NHS trusts are set to trial a range of wireless technology schemes aimed at boosting patient care and improving connectivity.

Leaders at Mid Cheshire Hospitals and the Princess Alexandra Hospital will look at the efficiency of wireless trackers on medical equipment and hospital beds.

NHS England (NHSE) says the idea is the trackers allow staff to live monitor key pieces of infrastructure and find what they need, when they need it.

“…we’re aiming to create a reliable, fast and secure network access solution…”

Better wireless technology in the ambulance sector will help streamline the transfer of patient care data from ambulances to hospitals. These improvements will be carried out at the north west and east of England ambulance service trusts.

Clinicians at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) will test how combining satellite and cloud-based wireless technology can enhance connectivity across its 10 hospital sites and wider portfolio of services.

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

“With the Wireless Trial we’re aiming to create a reliable, fast and secure network access solution to address unexpected connectivity issues, even in areas of poor-connectivity.”

NHSE awarded the trusts £1m as part of the wireless trials programme.

“I have been impressed with the innovative ideas coming from the system…”

Previous trials have led to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust becoming the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital and the development of University College London Hospitals’ find and treat service.

As part of this latest round though, staff at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from a new app which allows them to make observations from a patient's bedside – the idea being to spend less time on patient notes and more time with the actual patient.

Finally, the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will speed up assessment time for patients by wirelessly synching diagnostic devices to its electronic patient record.

NHSE’s executive director of platforms, Stephen Koch, said: “I have been impressed with the innovative ideas coming from the system and we are delighted to be able to award this funding to the successful trialists to develop new or improved wireless solutions for the NHS.”

NHSE says it will provide advice and guidance to the trusts, while also capturing and sharing best practice from across the trials.

Koch added: “We’ll be monitoring the outcomes of the trials and are very hopeful that a number of these will be able to be scaled more broadly across the health and social care system saving clinical time, improving patient care and saving money for the system.”

Image credit: iStock

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

A window into the past, present and future of healthcare leadership.

- Steve Gulati, University of Birmingham 

More articles...

View all
Online Conference


2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of health sector leaders responsible for delivering the UK's health strategy across the NHS and the wider health sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for industry leaders to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation. 

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 42. Leadership in the NHS

In episode 42 of the National Health Executive podcast we were joined by Steve Gulati who is an associate professor at the University of Birmingham as well as director of healthcare leadership at the university’s Health Services Management Centre.