Table 1

Internet access in UK's children's hospitals

HospitalInternet access policy
1No response
2Provides access on a 2-weekly basis. Provide tablets for children to use. Parents must sign consent forms for access which is then unrestricted until 21:00, when it is switched off. Most services are only for patients up to the age of 13 years. Believe they have less worries with this age group
3Trialling access for 1 year. Patients and parents apply for password which gives a week's access at a time. Some restrictions but social networking, games and emails allowed
4Guest network with username and password given at ward manager's discretion. Strict filter blocking inappropriate websites but social networks and gaming websites allowed
5Unrestricted access to wi-fi on own devices following parents signing a waiver
6Provides wi-fi across hospital. Filters sites that contain inappropriate content or potential IT security risks. Similar system to ones used in schools. Social networking and games allowed
7Hospital's school provides supervised, filtered internet access. Long-term/recurring patients can access via own or borrowed laptops/tablets after signing form agreeing to certain rules. Games and social networking allowed. Patients may be blocked if they break these rules. Patients are also taught on internet safety
8No wi-fi. Patients can bring own laptops and dongles. On medical ward, patients can pay for internet access via television/telephone system. Restricted but can use social networking and games. One specialist young person's ward has its own, independent, unrestricted wi-fi
9Access provided for long-term patients via formal request from parent/guardian. Undesirable websites are blocked but social networking and games are allowed. For short-term patients, access to a third party service is allowed which charges
10Wi-fi access for laptops/iPads supplied by hospital for educational purposes. Therefore games and social networking are blocked. Parents can pay to access a BT open zone wi-fi which is unrestricted
11Private, secure network for authorised and approved users for educational purposes
12Only the school teacher in the ward has access to the internet as the majority of patients are ‘too young to use the internet’. Patients are allowed to bring their own laptops with dongles
13Generally for education; social networks and games blocked but patients can make special requests to the IT department which are considered on an individual basis
14Provide internet in certain areas. Trying to extend but difficult since it is a secure network. Only websites needed for schoolwork allowed
15Education centre has internet for educational purposes but no access in wards. No particular reason
16Only teachers have access to the internet for educational purposes as they are worried they won't be able to police appropriate use
17Wi-fi only accessible with the ward's iPads for security reasons
18No access currently. Looking into establishing a safe network