A system developed by Jisc to deliver seamless roaming internet access for the public sector has been named "best communications system" at the Building Better Healthcare awards 2019.
Govroam smooths the way for multi-discipline working, for example, GPs or district nurses whose work takes them into care homes, where govroam allows them to log on to their own network and input notes.
The technology is now available at almost 4,500 public sector venues across the UK, including blue light services and local authorities, but it is particularly popular at NHS premises: 42% of all organisations that have joined govroam are part of the NHS.
The judging panel, which described govroam as “a game-changer", was chaired by Roy Lilley, founder member of the NHS Trust Federation, independent health policy analyst and director of the institute of healthcare management.
Mark O’Leary, Jisc’s head of network access, said:
“The team have worked hard to promote govroam for the health sector and recognition like this rewards that effort. But for us, it’s just as rewarding to hear that the availability of govroam is increasing client contact time for social care staff or allowing clinical staff to work more efficiently at the patient’s bedside.”
Lola Harre, Jisc’s govroam service manager, added:
"Govroam is making a real difference to staff in health and social care, and it’s wonderful to hear the judges recognise this positive impact of the service"
Govroam uses the same technology as Jisc’s eduroam service, which was developed more than 15 years ago for the education sector. Its biggest benefit is that staff can access the govroam network at any participating organisation using a single, securely authenticated sign-on process. This makes working across several sites easier as users will only need to configure a profile once to connect to the service.
Praise for govroam
Marcus Baw, GP and emergency physician:
“When I first heard about govroam as proposed in the UK by Jisc I thought: ‘That’s exactly what we need in the NHS’. The eduroam model, which has been proven to a) work, b) be cheap, and c) scale internationally, seems to be ideal.”
Medway NHS Foundation Trust:
“The benefits of using govroam for us mean that we can interoperate better with our partners and colleagues within other NHS organisations. [...] So that means that we can share our network, securely, and enable them to reach the resources that they need.”