Connected at last

September 30 2020

RESIDENTS of a Pucklechurch care home can video-call their families for the first time after thanks to a new ultrafast broadband connection co-ordinated by the NHS.
Park Farm House in Parkfield was locked down for 20 weeks earlier this year to protect its residents from the risk of coronavirus. The residents , who have dementia, could not see the faces of their loved ones between March and August because the broadband connection at the 10-bed home was too slow to allow video calls.
The poor speeds also prevented staff from using video communication tools with GPs and from accessing online training and information.
After owner Margaret Hanney contacted the NHS for help, the home has seen its broadband speed increase from 3 Mbps to 75 Mbps with the support of  NHS Digital, the service's national information and technology partner.
Mrs Hanney, 81, who has run the home for 26 years with her husband Jeffrey, said they were delighted to have got the ultrafast connection, which they had previously been told was not available in their rural location.
“It’s making a huge difference. We have bought a tablet and residents can video-call their families, as visiting is still limited and strictly controlled.  My wonderful team of staff are so pleased they can now help residents to keep in contact with their loved ones when they’re unable to visit the home.”
Patrick Clark, from NHS Digital, said: “I’m delighted that our Access Logistics Hub was able to help Park Farm House obtain ultrafast broadband connectivity that will be so beneficial.”