When the team at the Cancer Centre at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) wished to make Wi-Fi available to its teenage and young adult patients, it approached Teenage Cancer Trust for funding. KCOM, which has been working with UHNM for 10 years and chose Teenage Cancer Trust as its official charity partner three years ago, offered to step in and supply the service at negligible cost.
KCOM’s onsite team of five, based at Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke on Trent, runs a fully managed IT service including networking, telephony and wireless technologies.
Service manager and KCOM employee Neil Dudley suggested a way to set up and run Wi-Fi at UHNM’s Cancer Centre using KCOM’s existing infrastructure.
"Teenage Cancer Trust had already purchased the broadband system and we saw an opportunity to maximise its investment by using KCOM’s existing infrastructure, removing the need for Teenage Cancer Trust to install additional access points,” said Neil. “Charging our customer and charitable partner for the consultancy, design and implementation work to make it happen didn’t seem very ‘KCOM’. We have a great team that was willing to donate its time for free so the service has been delivered at a fraction of the costs originally budgeted, a fantastic result.”
Ian Chamberlain, Haematology Advanced Nurse Practitioner at UHNM said: “The response from our patients has been wonderful. Staying in touch via social media has been highlighted as being of major importance whilst undergoing treatment in the Cancer Centre and so they really value the connection that their devices give them to their friends and family back home. Being able to access gaming, movie streaming and other media sites has also helped provide a distraction and some semblance of normality in what is a very clinical environment. It’s been lovely to see their reaction to the new service.”
Debbie Adams, Regional Services Manager for Teenage Cancer Trust, said, "For many young people, cancer treatment can be lonely and isolating. Having a sense of normality can be incredibly beneficial and the new dedicated Teenage Cancer Trust Wi-Fi setup allows them to stay connected with the world and their friends, helping to make their time in treatment that little bit easier. We're so grateful to KCOM for being so generous with their time, resource and expertise. We hope that through the funding of this dedicated Wi-Fi, all young people having their cancer treatment at Royal Stoke Hospital will benefit."
“This is a great example of how the KCOM team looks beyond the brief and comes up with a solution that works best for all parties,” said David Winter, Commercial Development and Contract Performance Manager at UHNM. “It’s allowed us to maximise funds for other activities and look to extend the service elsewhere within the hospital."