Fibre-optic broadband to be rolled out across NHS

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Fibre-optic broadband will soon be present in all hospitals and GP surgeries, according to the health secretary.

Matt Hancock will announce plans to upgrade broadband speed across the NHS in a speech at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) technology conference today.

The Department of Health and Social Care has said around 40 per cent of NHS organisations are currently using slow internet, making it difficult for them to offer the latest services such as video consultation.

Mr Hancock is expected to say: "It's simply unbelievable that a third of NHS organisations are using internet that can sometimes be little better than dial-up.

"To give people control over how they access NHS services, I want to unlock the full potential of technology - this is the future for our 21st century healthcare system and a central part of our NHS Long Term Plan.

"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."

Mr Hancock is now aiming for every NHS organisation, compared to the existing plans of 70 per cent, to have fibre-to-the-premises connections offering a faster connection as soon as possible.

Words by Wesley Hudson

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