WiFi Access from within practices

With the increased use of video conferencing there have been a number of requests from practices to access the HSC WiFi from within practices. BSO ITS have been investigating the options to enable access to the WiFi with GP practices. The options for WiFi provision within a practice will depend upon whether a practice is in GP owned premises with their GP network managed by BSO ITS or located in a Trust or GP owned premises where their network is provided and managed by Trust IT.

List of Coverage if BSO/Trust -HSCNI link (only works on HSC network)

1.1 Access from a practice with BSO ITS managed GP network

For these practices, which are typically practices in GP owned premises, access to the practice WiFi has now been enabled for personal devices. This access is enabled through Gov WiFi.
The Gov Wifi services is only available to UK Public Sector so you must register using your HSC email address, as this is validated with Gov WiFi.
The registration process requires the user to send a blank email with no title and no text within the body of the email to Gov WiFi. To complete this step:
1. Open a new email with your practice email account
2. Enter signup@wifi.service.gov.uk in the To: section of the email
3. Make sure the title of the email is blank and there is no text in the body of the email. If a new email automatically adds your signature, please delete this signature from the body of the email.
4. Send the email
You will receive your GovWifi username and password by return email. You can then use these credentials to connect your device to the GovWifi service that is now available in your practice.
Further instructions on how to connect to the Gov WiFi can be found at

1.2 Access from a practice with a Trust IT managed network

For some practices with Trust managed networks, WiFi access may already be
enabled and practices can access the WiFi network from a personal device. GMS
ICT are in communication with all the Trusts to determine the level of WiFi access
across all practices. Any additional WiFi access within Trust premises would have
to be prioritised and resourced by Trust IT as they are responsible for the network
configuration within their premises.

1.3 The use of WiFi in the practice

– The enablement of WiFi in the practice is to facilitate the increased use of video conferencing products such as AccuRX and Zoom.
– Please do not use the WiFi provision to stream video, music or other high volume data services with the exception of Video Conferencing.
– The GovWiFi connection is not a direct connection to the GP Network, therefore connecting your HSC laptop or personal device to the Gov Wifi
network will not provide a connection to your clinical system.
– However, all connections to the practice WiFi utilise the same bandwidth as your practice network and therefore misuse of the WiFi will affect the
performance of your practice network.
– As with any WiFi network, WiFi performance may vary and can depend on how far you are from the access point, how many devices are connected to the WiFi, what people are using the WiFi for and the age of the device connecting to the WiFi.

1.4 WiFi Support

– For any support calls regarding access to Gov WiFi please log a vFire call for the attention of GMS ICT Support.
– If you have any queries regarding Trust guest WiFi , you can log a vFire call with GMS ICT Support in the first instance, depending on the issue they may then refer this to Trust IT.

Updating Laptops
– HSC laptops must be brought into the practice once per month and connected to the network in order for windows updates to apply correctly. This is because Windows tries to go directly to the Windows update servers to download the updates and these cannot be accessed via the VPN but can be accessed in Practice. You can either leave the laptop connected for most of the day to allow the updates to download in their own time or you can use the windows update feature to download and apply the updates. Sophos will update its virus definitions over the VPN connection but also needs to be connected to the HSC network to get any version updates required.
– Remote access PCs / laptops using F5 are personal devices and it is the user’s responsibility to keep these up to date. As part of the connection process the laptop is checked for an up to  date AV and that the most recent security patches are installed. If not then F5 will not connect and an error message is displayed to the user so they can go and fix the problem.

Yours sincerely
Dr Margaret O’Brien
Head of General Medical Services