Government pledges full fibre for all NHS GPs and hospitals

The government has announced plans to further push out connectivity to all NHS GP surgeries and hospitals. The plans are in addition to existing pledges to connect all of these sites with leased lines by August 2020.

The plans were announced on 30 April by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, who was speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners. He explained that NHS staff are often “let down” by outdated and unreliable technology and that this had to change.

He stated: “Faster broadband connections can help us deliver these dramatic improvements – we need clinicians and other healthcare professionals to feel confident they can access fast, reliable broadband so they can provide patients with the best possible care.”

The speech made by Mr Hancock has prompted some to ask why any NHS hospitals do not, in this day and age, have full fibre broadband connectivity already. Thinkbroadband, for example, said: “If there is any decent sized hospitals (we would suggest this to mean those with 24 hour A&E department) without a full fibre leased line service today then the management have some serious questions to answer as to why.”

Leased lines can, after all, help any premises connect to fast broadband and are a simple solution for hospitals or surgeries in rural locations who need to improve their connectivity.

The plans have now been put forward by the government but they have not yet confirmed who will be providing the upgrade or how it will be funded. The timescale is also very vague so we will have to watch this space.