Children and parents visiting the children’s ward at Milton Keynes Hospital can now keep up to date with the outside world by using a free wi-fi service.
The service went live this week and will help children and young people keep in touch with their friends.
The service can also be used to do homework research, or simply to provide entertainment during a long hospital stay.
Parents and carers – many of whom stay on the ward with their children - will also benefit from using the service. It will help them to get support from friends and family, stay in touch with work, or simply provide some light relief during a stressful time.
Denise Campbell, the ward sister, said: “We are delighted that our new wifi service is now live. Hospital stays can be difficult for both the children and their parents, and this will be a huge help.
“We do as much as we can to improve the experience of our patients, and it is great to be able to set up a service that patients and their parents have told us they would like.”
For 14-year-old Jack Taylor (pictured), wi-fi will make a huge difference to his hospital visits. He said: “I’ll be using it for my XBox Live. I can talk to my friends through the games and can get Sky.
“It will make things less boring. I use my phone at the moment, but can only get reception in certain places. This will be easier and things will run quicker with the connection.”
Jack’s mum added: “Jack is such a people person and he is friends with everybody, but in hospital he is so limited in who he sees. This will help him stay in contact with his friends and family.”
Access to wi-fi was just one of the suggestions raised by children and their parents during the hospital’s consultation ‘In Your Little Shoes’.
Having listened to their ideas, the hospital is planning a range of improvements to its children’s services in addition to the new wifi service.
Improvements will include making children’s areas of the hospital more colourful and child-friendly, including looking at artwork, curtains and bedding, reviewing the books and toys provided for older children, and reminding staff how much children like to see them smiling.
The hospital will also make more fruit available for children and review the children’s food menu.
Plans are also progressing for wi-fi in other parts of the hospital.