WiFi SPARK has come over all festive once again and will be spreading some joy to hospital-bound patients over the Christmas period by offering three days of free TV.

The gesture is one that is available to all trusts and health boards with Hospedia bedside entertainment and communications units and will cover Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Hospedia was recently acquired by Volaris Group, WiFi SPARK’s parent company, and has traditionally offered NHS patients one day of free TV. This year though WiFi SPARK will be extending its offering to include three days.

The company, who manages 60,000 bedside units across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will ensure people can see in the new year by timing the New Year’s Day offer to coincide with the celebrations.

Dean Moody, chief commercial officer at WiFi SPARK, said: “We all know that the past two years have been exceptionally difficult for the NHS and for the people who depend on it.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing, exceptional demand for services have necessitated new restrictions on who can access wards and visit those patients who need to be admitted for treatment.

“That has made modern, digital entertainment and communications systems more important than ever before, and we wanted to recognise this with an extended, free-TV offer.”

The service would usually cost £7.90, and on each free day the entertainment will be available for a 24-hour period. Crucially patients will not be asked to register or sign-up making it easy to access.

WiFi SPARK intends to move away from a service that is paid for by the patient by 2024, instead offering free-to-view bedside terminals through new software paid for by individual trusts and health boards. A planned additional upgrade would also transform the terminals for staff use, with the ability to access trust IT systems from them.

Moody added: “We have already had a very positive response from trusts and health boards to our vision for the future of patient communication and entertainment systems.

“We hope that this extended TV offer will demonstrate the benefits of a ‘free at the point of use’ model for patients, who won’t have to navigate registration and payments screens to watch the programmes they love.

“We know that being able to access information and entertainment, and to communicate with family and friends, can make a big difference to patient morale and recovery.”