Bosses at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have unveiled plans to provide free wi-fi internet access for patients and visitors.
Initially, the scheme, which is an extension of the service currently available in some council-run buildings, will not allow patients to access wi-fi from their beds – but bosses say they hope to expand the facility in the future.
Shaun Bucknill, head of ICT at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The demand for wi-fi services, from checking your emails to surfing the internet or keeping in touch with loved ones, is now part of everyday life and shouldn’t necessarily stop just because you are in hospital.
“However, as budgets become tighter and tighter within the public sector, offering a free to use service without adding to burden with this new service was a significant challenge.”
The Trust said it worked with Blackpool Council to develop the new state-of-the-art service.
Mr Bucknill added: “While the initial roll out is limited to non-bedded areas, due to existing contractual arrangements with the Trust, it is expected that this service will grow and become available to more areas in time.’’
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “Spending time in hospital is not something people tend to look forward to but I hope this gesture makes their visit that little bit easier.”