EXCLUSIVE: SCIE Chair Paul Burstow calls for WiFi in every care home

SCIE Chair Paul Burstow

SCIE chair Paul Burstow has called for WiFi to be installed in every care home as part of a new technology drive within social care.

In an exclusive interview with CHP, Paul said the Government should include a pledge to help the sector become fully WIFi-enabled within its Social Care Green Paper.

“The Green Paper has to be talking about supporting the sector in becoming fully WiFi enabled,” Paul said.

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Only 16% of care homes currently have WiFi, meaning three out of five residents do not have access to the Internet.

“The vast majority of 65-74 year olds are using the Internet,” Paul said.

“This means that something that is seen as part of their everyday life, which helps them keep in touch with their families, is often suddenly being taken away.”

Since his appointment in July, Minister of State for Health and Care Matt Hancock has highlighted the importance of technology in enhancing care quality, commenting: “Technology used right is a catalyst for greater connectivity and empowerment.

“Not only can the right use of technology save time and money, it can improve patient safety.”

After several delays, the Government has pledged to publish its Green Paper this autumn.

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2 Comments

  1. Robin Hodges said:

    Has Paul Burstow checked the average age of older people in Care Homes?
    “The vast majority of 65-74 year olds are using the Internet,” Paul said.
    The average age of my residents is 87.9! I employ 3 staff members who are over the age of 64!

    Oh, by the way, we do have WiFi in our care home

  2. Peter Loose said:

    My father spent the last 4 months of his life (at age 83) in a very good care home but it didn’t have WiFi. We used my mother’s iPhone to enable him to Facetime my brothers in Australia – a valuable piece of reality orientation for a man with dementia. An increasing proportion of older people living in care homes have become accustomed to using the internet and the provision of WiFi should become a standard option rather than relying on a work-around like ours.

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