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How SPARK® Media is Helping UK Trusts to Fight Patient Boredom

3 minute read | 31/05/2021

How SPARK® Media is Helping UK Trusts to Fight Patient Boredom

Isolation and boredom are issues that are sometimes overlooked on the hospital ward. During the pandemic, these feelings were more common amongst patients as their loved ones were forced to stay away. As a result, Trusts around the UK searched for solutions to improve the patient experience.


We’ve worked with many Trusts to encourage better healthcare outcomes, here are two of the Trusts we delivered personalised media packages for to solve the challenges they were facing.

Tackling Patient Boredom with SPARK® Media

Both Trusts already had existing WiFi networks but wanted entertainment solutions that would help to alleviate boredom for patients. The legacy systems that were in place were good in their prime but failed to grow and respond to changing needs, causing frustration for patients and making it harder for staff to carry out their duties.

“Over recent times it has become even more apparent how important it is to support our patients during their stay in hospital.” - Liam McLaughlin, Acting CIO at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

With both Trusts having such similar goals, WiFi SPARK suggested the implementation of our entertainment solution - SPARK® Media. The solution deployed consisted of access to free television, newspapers and magazines, as well as links to charity and dementia support services.

In West Suffolk, we implemented SPARK® Media within a week, giving patients and staff access to Freeview television, local and national radio, and Trust, Charity and Dementia links to help a variety of patients.

Meanwhile, in Bedfordshire, we gave patients, staff and visitors access to digitised magazines, daily updated newspapers and hospital radio free of charge. To support those who don't have their own device, the Trust purchased a number of tablets to loan to patients who need them. SPARK® Media can easily be accessed on these devices without storing any patient data. 

“The launch of this new service is a great example of how digital solutions meet the aspiration of the wider care and support we can offer you - our patients - and really complements their clinical care.” - Liam McLaughlin

The Results 

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s patients have the opportunity to save over £615k annually.

If even half of the 430 beds in the hospital had been using their bedside entertainment terminals, competitor providers would have seen revenue of £619,952.50 per annum from West Suffolk’s patients.

In the first two weeks of SPARK® Media’s implementation at West Suffolk, almost half of the bed capacity has enjoyed the benefits of the new system. Every area of the hospital - from the waiting rooms to staff quarters - is now covered by SPARK® Media. 

Patients and staff now have access to television and entertainment services as well as targeted learning and engagement for specific patient groups such as those with dementia.


Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s patients have the opportunity to save over £570k annually.

As with West Suffolk, if just half of the beds in the hospital had used the legacy terminals that were in place before, patients would have collectively had to pay more than £576,000 per year. 

Almost all of the beds on site can access TV, radio and other entertainment services thanks to the SPARK® Media solution that we implemented. 

“Offering patients a distraction from their time in hospital is a vital benefit for their mental health and feeling of well-being. We recognised the importance of this and believe it will make a considerable difference for patients and staff.” - Deborah Inskip, Chairman of Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Future of Patient Entertainment

Outdated entertainment machines that require daily monetary top-ups are far from convenient for today’s tech savvy patients and staff members.

SPARK® Media is an entertainment delivery platform that delivers TV, radio and other services to any WiFi-enabled device with a web browser.

Plus, it can assist staff with services like meal ordering. The money saved on food wastage can be as much as £182,000 per year. This is because the pen and paper solution doesn’t account for patients who are discharged or moved to another ward.

SPARK® Media can generate revenue and save hundreds of thousands for Trusts, all within a complete managed service solution. There are different packages available to help Trusts tailor the platform to meet their specific goals. 

For a closer look at SPARK® Media and to see how it can work for your Trust, feel free to watch the exclusive video below which outlines the benefits of implementing the platform.

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