PATIENTS and visitors at Southend Hospital will be able to access free wireless internet in selected areas from Monday, July 28.

The new service, which has been developed in-house by the Prittlewell Chase hospital’s IT department, is completely free of charge and available to anyone with a compatible wireless-enabled laptop or mobile device.

Patients, visitors and guests will be able to check their emails, surf the internet or keep up to date with social media in parts of the hospital including the waiting areas in main outpatients, the education centre, Spice of Life restaurant and the newly-opened Macmillan Information and Support Centre.

Signs will be in place to clearly identify hotspots where users can connect to the new wireless network, agree to the terms of use and start browsing quickly and easily with just a couple of clicks.

Alan Tuckwood, head of IT at the hospital, said: “More and more people are using technology such as smart phones and tablets and we want to give our patients, visitors and guests the flexibility to use their devices while they are visiting the hospital.

“We already have a wireless network in place that allows our clinical staff to securely access information such as x-rays or scan results from mobile devices at the patients’ bedside.

“I am delighted that we have been able to build on this existing investment to provide a benefit to our patients, visitors and guests.”

Plans are in place to make the new wireless network available in other areas of the hospital, including wards and other clinical treatment areas, over the coming months.