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Patients watch videos on how to get better from their hospital bed

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Patients can watch NHS videos about health and recovery while recuperating in hospital.

Dementia sufferers can access the BBC Archive and BBC Music Memories as part of their care.

It’s part of a new initiative to put patients in touch with families via video conferencing during the pandemic.

Many patients have complained about being isolated and bored during the lockdown, which has stopped many visits to wards.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has installed the SPARK Media platform to provide a range of free entertainment services including access to TV, radio, films, games, newspapers and magazines.

Liam McLaughlin, acting chief information officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Over the recent times it has become even more apparent how important it is to support our patients during their stay in hospital.

“The launch of this new service is a great example of how digital solutions meet the aspiration of the wider care and support we can offer to our patients and really complements their clinical care.”

Cassia Nice, head of patient experience and engagement at the trust said: “Being away from those you love when you are unwell, particularly with current visiting restrictions across the NHS, can be extremely difficult and days in hospital are long.

“Entertainment is important to people and with the variety offered through WiFi SPARK, from games to magazines to favourite television programmes, will certainly help to improve people’s experience of being in hospital. We are delighted to offer this service to our patients.”

The installation of the SPARK Media platform at West Suffolk follows the successful roll-out of WiFi connectivity at the trust – supplied by WiFi SPARK – for patient and staff use, since 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Users can now access all WiFi and entertainment services, as well as links to the My WiSH charity, which supports patients and visitors at West Suffolk Hospital and Newmarket Community Hospital.

The trust and the charity have purchased some tablets for use by inpatients, if they don’t have a phone or WiFi accessible device with them during their stay in hospital.

“Having access to a range of entertainment services can help patients in their recovery by providing some normality during what is often a difficult time,” said Dean Moody, chief commercial officer at WiFi SPARK.

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