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Resolving Poor In-building Mobile Connectivity In The NHS

AN NHS FIT FOR THE FUTURE NEEDS A ROBUST AND RELIABLE MOBILE SIGNAL SOLUTION TO SUPPORT IT. CEL-FI MOBILE SIGNAL BOOSTERS CAN IMPROVE IN-BUILDING MOBILE CONNECTIVITY IN ANY NHS ENVIRONMENT.

The vision of the NHS is to build an NHS fit for the future by:

  • enabling everyone to get the best start in life
  • helping communities to live well
  • helping people to age well

It aims to embrace the increased use of mobile working and technologies within the NHS to improve health and social care. The use of mobile technology is crucial to provide more time to care, improve care quality and implement efficient working practices.

WHAT PLANS DO THE NHS HAVE THAT INVOLVES MOBILE CONNECTIVITY?

Everything from video conferencing and remote appointments with GPs through to artificial intelligence systems designed to understand the demand for hospital beds will be implemented to push healthcare services into the future.

DIGITAL GP VIA THE NHS APP

The NHS is adopting newer technology in hospitals, like smartphones, tablets and apps, to replace outdated equipment. The phasing out DECT phones and pagers is well underway and will be replaced with clinical-messaging mobile applications like Hospify or Medic Bleep. These apps crucially include the functionality for medical staff to send confidential patient information to other medical staff on a secure platform rather than using WhatsApp or Telegram.

REPLACING OUTDATED EQUIPMENT

The roll-out intends to make digital health services a mainstream part of the NHS so that patients will be able to access a digital GP offer via the NHS App. Through the expansion of appointment bookings and remote consultation apps, patients have more freedom over how they interact with their doctors and their data. For GP practices, this means fewer in-person visits and the ability to prioritise the most important cases.

ENCOURAGING PATIENTS TO USE MOBILE DEVICES IN HOSPITALS

When it comes to patient care, the NHS encourages patients and visitors to use mobile devices in hospitals. They recognise that it is an important way to keep in touch and making use of online resources.

All these plans rely on reliable and robust digital connectivity.

WOULD THE NHS WI-FI NOT BE ENOUGH?

Many hospitals, clinics and GP practices have mobile dead zones. Whilst the NHS has rolled out an extensive NHS Wi-Fi solution in more than 95% of all practices and properties, it has failed to solve the problem of poor mobile phone coverage.

Wi-Fi works well when it is coupled to static devices like desktop computers, printers and TVs. The problem arises when devices, like mobile phones, tablets or other handheld devices, are on the move. As the mobile device moves through the building, it must find and connect each new Wi-Fi signal in the different Wi-Fi zones of the building. If a health practitioner is on a call whilst moving from one ward to the next, it can be frustrating as the call would drop and cut out as the device connects to the different Wi-Fi connections. It can also cause a backlog of web-based messages should the device fail to connect to a Wi-Fi zone for any reason.

For patients, their families and visitors, the lack of a good mobile signal can be equally distressing. No matter the reason for the hospital visit, their only means to communicate with family and friends is on their mobile device. The patient allocated WiFi channels quickly become overcrowded and prevents them from accessing messaging services like WhatsApp to keep in touch, browsing online or checking social media to pass the time.

Robust mobile signal in hospitals and other medical facilities streamlines communication and leads to a better healthcare experience for doctors, nurses, administrators, patients, and visitors.

WHY DO THEY SUFFER FROM POOR MOBILE COVERAGE?

Hospitals suffer from poor mobile coverage for many reasons.

The main cause can usually be pinned on the materials used during the construction of the building, like concrete, glass and steel. Thick walls which are built to withstand fires, floods or block waves from the Radiology department prevents the mobile signal to penetrate through, leading to poor in-door mobile signal.

It is also common to find that the side of the building which faces the mobile tower will have great signal, whereas the opposite side has little to none. Others causes include the sheer size of the hospital buildings, the typography of the environment outside or the proximity from the mobile tower.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

Some NHS Trusts with poor mobile reception has contacted the MNO’s to provide them with a solution but have found that the costs and timelines put forward to be a prohibiting factor to implement the alternative solutions.

Many NHS Trusts have turned to Cel-Fi products to provide them with an indoor mobile coverage solution. The Cel-Fi range is easy to install, cost-effective and provide an exceptional coverage footprint for voice and data.

Cel-Fi products are the ONLY mobile signal boosters available on the market that fully meet the regulatory requirements in the UK and Ireland. The Cel-Fi commitment is to protect the operator's network, deliver the best in-building mobile performance, and be the easiest solution to install.

Contact us +44 208 397 2222 or view our range of products here.

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