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How is the NHS' favourite patient engagement platform performing? A look back at January 2022

4 minute read | 24/02/2022

How is the NHS' favourite patient engagement platform performing? A look back at January 2022

Each month we take a look inside the NHS’ favourite patient engagement platform, SPARK® Media to see how patients, visitors, and staff are finding entertainment, engagement, and educational resources during their downtime.

In last month’s retrospective, we noted that the platform had received 2,305,003 visitors in the final three months of 2021. This has, in January 2022, seen a 48% increase to 3,426,109 with 1,121,106 new users.

The WiFi SPARK team works with Trusts to increase awareness of SPARK® Media. Whether through Marketing activities or strong advertising, everyone shares a common goal of ensuring as many people as possible are aware of the free entertainment on offer.

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Charity Exposure

An increase in platform awareness doesn’t just help users find engagement opportunities, it also increases the exposure of the relative Trust’s charity. Often the incredible NHS charities are the powerhouses that fund patient engagement initiatives and they are able to proudly keep users up-to-date with their activities 

through the platform. We can measure charity engagement through the platform by analysing the clicks on the charity’s banner shown on the dashboard in the image below.

Across the NHS, charity banners saw 815 clicks in January. If each of those users donated £10, charities had the opportunity to make £8,150 in the first month of the year. This is a donation stream that would otherwise have gone unknown to many visitors. However, it is now visible, as you can see on Bedford NHS Foundation Trust’s User Experience to the right, to all who use the platform. 


BBC One remained the most popular TV channel across all of the SPARK® Media sites, with 56% of all TV viewings being to the channel. ITV follows close behind with 39% of views and coming in third is BBC Two with 26%. Other channels such as Channel 4, Film 4, and CBeebies saw steady usage throughout the month providing a variety of free viewing options for users.

Service Usage pie chart - jan 22

But whilst TV was the NHS’ favourite engagement resource last month, the games, radio, and on-demand offerings shared out the rest of the usage. BBC Radio 2 took the top spot as the NHS’ favourite radio station, whilst Sudoku remained the most favoured game, and Amazon Prime the top on-demand service.

Whilst SPARK® Media hosts on-demand subscription applications such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Disney+, it should be noted that users will need to have a pre-existing account or set one up to be able to access the services.


January often sees us strive to achieve a calmer sense of self and engage in activities that encourage a calmer way of living. At Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, we have linked access to a selection of mindfulness videos which received 10% of all engagement on the platform. Other calming links include a digital colouring in application that received 22% and the BBC Reminiscence services, aiding those living with dementia, which received 13%.


SPARK® Media continues to grow and develop with the changing needs of the NHS. With the patient engagement landscape set to be reimagined dramatically in the coming years, insights such as these will ensure any evolution is informed.

The versatility of the platform enables Trusts to deliver engagement links that meet wider goals such as improving patient education or clinical integration. Patient engagement platforms are no longer about just providing entertainment and with the revival of engagement via bedside entertainment units, the statistics we collect are set to get broader and give a more diverse look at what patients, visitors, and staff want across the NHS.

Did you know WiFi SPARK’s parent company acquired Hospedia? The engagement revolution is beginning with the movement away from Hospedia and towards SPARK® in an effort to step up the engagement offering and provide free entertainment to all patients by 2024.

The face of patient engagement is changing, and you can hear about how this will benefit you and your Trust in a one-off webinar on the 24th of February. Click the link below to find out more and register for your free place.

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