Patients at 74 GP practices in West Essex and East Herts are benefitting from a major ultrafast broadband project.
The £1.6m project is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), it underpins the future of healthcare delivery in the district.
It also brings greater capacity and resilience to the local healthcare network across Broxbourne, East Herts, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford districts.
Importance of online connectivity
The experience of local communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the critical importance of online connectivity for our GP surgeries. This investment will support even greater potential adoption of digital approaches such as virtual appointments and the remote monitoring of patient conditions in their own homes.
The full fibre upgrade to these 74 GP practices will also benefit thousands of residential and business premises located within a short distance of the surgeries. They will be able to access ultrafast speeds and make the most of an increasingly digital world.
Digital Innovation Zone
The project was led by the Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ) in partnership with West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG), Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), East & North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group (ENHCCG) and Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Luton ICT Shared Services (HBLICT).
The project was championed by Epping Forest District Council and Essex County Council with additional support from Hertfordshire County Council and Broxbourne, East Herts, Harlow and Uttlesford district councils.
New ways of serving patients
Cllr Alan Lion, Chair of the Essex + Herts Digital Innovation Zone and Epping Forest District Council‘s Digital Lead said:
One key aim of the DIZ is to make our place one of the best-connected places of its kind in the UK.
The DIZ was very grateful to be awarded this funding from DCMS to invest in our health and care networks and make sure that our area can be at the forefront of new ways of serving patients better.
This project would not have been possible without the constant support of partners in the health economy and across all 5 districts, working closely with infrastructure providers in the private sector. I am very grateful for everyone’s contribution and proud of the project that has been delivered.
One of the best-connected places in the UK
Cllr John Philip, Finance, Qualis Client & Economic Development Portfolio Holder at Epping Forest District Council said:
Epping Forest district has prioritised great digital infrastructure to drive economic growth and also provide the opportunity for innovation in healthcare.
The district authority is one of the leaders in Essex on full fibre connectivity and the completion of this scheme is another welcome addition in this drive to make us one of the best-connected places in the UK.
DIZ is an innovative cross-sector partnership made up of service providers and groups across west Essex and east Hertfordshire with the aim of making the area the best-connected place of its type in the UK.
Its mission is to develop digital infrastructure and greater investment to future-proof local economic success and enable service providers to deliver better, more cost effective and joined up services to local people.
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