<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=4574585&amp;fmt=gif">
Skip to content
< Back to the blog

University Hospitals of North Midlands Case Study

Providing digital inclusivity and free entertainment for all

4 minute read | 24/09/2021

University Hospitals of North Midlands Case Study

Our Goals Working With UHNM

Hospital stays can be long and lonely, especially during COVID-19, causing patients more stress than usual. To combat this and ensure a more positive patient experience, they need to feel connected to their family, friends and the outside world. Having access to communication and entertainment are essential. WiFi is the start of the solution, but so much more can be done than just simple connectivity. 

At the beginning of our project with University Hospitals of North Midlands, our goals were the following:

  • To provide free patient entertainment for everyone at all times.
  • Accessible information on the patient’s own devices.
  • Be available to patients, visitors and staff.
  • Be accessible in every area of the hospital.
  • Increase exposure to the charity and encourage donations.
  • Offer a reliable helpdesk and support system, available 24/7/365.
  • Offer a solution with a robust roadmap to encourage enhancements in the future.
  • Work in collaboration with the Trust and Charity to evolve the platform, enhancing clinical and engagement features.
  • Provide an entertainment, engagement and communication system available for those with or without their own device.

SPARK® TLS’s Solution

Trust Paid TV on Hospedia Bedside Units

UHNM’s existing supplier for patient entertainment and engagement is Hospedia, and the wall mounted Bedside Units. These are essential for those who don't have their own device. However, as many know, they are limited in functionality (due to being over 20 years old) and patients have to pay for entertainment such as TV outside the hours of 6am -12pm. Read more about the functionality of these Bedside Units.

After the acquisition of Hospedia, SPARK TSL made it their mission to stop patients paying for entertainment and bridge the digital inclusivity gap. However, we can only do this with the help of the Trusts and their charities. We approached UHNM with this Trust paid proposition and they were sceptical. We agreed to run a 3 month trial and at the end of it, they could choose to carry on paying for TV or switch it back to patient pays. These are the results:


Bed usage jumped from 25% to 40% and TV hours watched increased by 225%. Before the trial, roughly 215 hours of TV was watched daily. After the trial, it reached 700 hours a day. It just goes to show that the barrier to utilisation wasn't the age of the technology, but the price point.

The stats did all the convincing and the Trust has funded TV for patients ever since. But what about those patients who have their own device and don't want to use the Bedside Units? That's where SPARK® Media comes in. 

Patient Entertainment and Engagement on Own Devices

SPARK® Media is an online platform that hosts a wide variety of services directly to patient and visitors own devices. As it requires WiFi to work, we also supply SPARK® Connect which allows for seamless connectivity in all areas of the hospital. 

SPARK® Media at UHNM provides the following:

  • Free TV and radio (including hospital radio) with 35 channels.UHNM SPARK® Media
  • TV guide to see what's on, what's coming and set reminders.
  • Digitised newspapers and magazines.
  • Access to:
    • UHNM Charity.
    • Educational health videos.
    • Tailored dementia aid services such as BBC Music Memories and BBC Reminiscence.
    • NHS Give Blood.
    • NHS Health A-Z.
    • NHS Medicines A-Z.
    • NHS App.


How Do Patients Access the Patient Engagement Platform?

Once a patient has connected to the hospital’s free-to-use guest access WiFi, SPARK® Media is available as the landing page for users to interact with. Following connection, the patient is welcomed by a page specifically designed for the UHNM Charity, promoting the charity's activities and encouraging donations. The user can also navigate to this Dashboard by entering a Trust-specific URL where SPARK® Media and all of the above content is located, all entirely personalised for the Trust and its patients.

From their own device patients are able to keep in touch with friends and family, educate themselves and entertain themselves for no cost at all.

Read More About UHNM's Solution with SPARK

Read the full case study

75% of patients want digital healthcare services

So let’s work together to give it to them, all while optimising NHS processes.

Speak to us

Ready to SPARK a change in patient experience?

Speak to a member of the SPARK team and learn how we can work together to improve patient experience