NHS Pagers On The Way Out...

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NHS Pagers On The Way Out...

Postby merlin100 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:32 pm

Looks like the writing is on the wall for NHS pagers... That'll certainly cut down on the amount of pager traffic, that's for sure! :shocker:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47332415
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Re: NHS Pagers On The Way Out...

Postby JohnUK » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:00 pm

The Trust is now "weeks away" from removing non-emergency pagers at its main hospital.

However, critics warn:

mobile phone and wi-fi coverage in hospitals is patchy and there are often "dead spots"
web-based messaging services can experience delays and back-logs of messages
mobile networks can experience slow-downs or unavailability
mobile phones could interfere with hospital equipment
while the pager system is old, it is quick and reliable and does the job

Why no mention of a radio system as an alternative? A DMR system that most hospitals already have is more than capable. With multiple group/user options, security, multi and private messaging/voice and very slimline small handhelds available like the Motorola SL4000/4010?
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Re: NHS Pagers On The Way Out...

Postby G4RMT » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:15 pm

Have you seen how small the pagers are, and they have top access for reading - so the user just looks down, no hands required. Swapping them for radios where you need to unclip them and look at the display is not so good when people are busy or have hands full. Many people with pagers also have a radio. Swapping a pager for their cellphone means carrying another device, and how many phones can clip to a belt?

It's nothing to do with technology - its simply that the pagers do a great job and do exactly what the users want. The speaking type our trust use just bellow "call 2213 urgently" what more would they need to do - Phones are not a replacement at all.
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Re: NHS Pagers On The Way Out...

Postby m0lsx » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:17 pm

G4RMT wrote:Have you seen how small the pagers are, and they have top access for reading - so the user just looks down, no hands required. Swapping them for radios where you need to unclip them and look at the display is not so good when people are busy or have hands full. Many people with pagers also have a radio. Swapping a pager for their cellphone means carrying another device, and how many phones can clip to a belt?

It's nothing to do with technology - its simply that the pagers do a great job and do exactly what the users want. The speaking type our trust use just bellow "call 2213 urgently" what more would they need to do - Phones are not a replacement at all.


Possession of a mobile phone can also be a sackable offence within some NHS settings. So what ever they decide on, is going to need to be security sensitive & available as a non mobile phone system.
Pagers are also not as prone to being stolen. A colleague of my wife's was recently robbed at knife point walking between wards, as the hospital is mainly within single story buildings spread around a large site. The robber demanded car keys, mobile phone & money but was not interested in her pager.
Also given the number of times mental health staff get involved in physically managing aggression, a small pager is far less likely to be damaged than a larger flat & thinner mobile phone is.
Mental health staff normally have belts issued with various pouches on them as they have various things to carry with them. For example, protective gloves & a long secure strap for the keys for the ward as well as two different sets for the medication, as some drugs are more controlled than others & thus legally need to be stored separately & more securely. They also have the wards cordless phone (& maybe a ward mobile phone,) to carry. For nights they all need a torch & they have a bleep system so if anyone gets into trouble they can press a button & know help is coming.
One thing I have not seen addressed is the NHS's very patchy IT support. As the suggestion is they use a Wi-Fi based system & apps. At my wifes trust IT support is only Monday to Friday day time. So there is no IT cover for any one working night shifts or those who need it at weekends. Thus my wife often needs to either work over time when doing nights to contact IT if her login fails, or she needs to sort it from home & if her system fails on a Friday night, then she has no access to anything on the trusts IT system, other than via other peoples login (& that is obviously not encouraged) until the Monday & only then if it's not a bank holiday.
Another issue is how do they contact staff via an app, without 2 sim cards also being used, as most trusts have multiple bases & community based staff, or staff on call from home via the pager. They need a back up system both on & off a site & that obviously means 2 sims, as they do NEED a back up. People are hopefully not on call for no reason.
So is it really going to be any cheaper with extra IT staff being needed & more money being spent on the extra phone contracts needed to provide 2 sims to every one who needs to be on call?
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Re: NHS Pagers On The Way Out...

Postby mark99 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:33 pm

Phone apps are for posting pictures of your tea, or snaps of your holidays.
In major emergency situations. Grenfell, Boscastle, Manchester Arena just to name a few, mobile phone networks failed due to overload.

A pocsag receiver does not require a two way connection, all that is required is the pager to be in working condition and the transmitter to be working.
It does not over load or run out of data capacity, it does not need a two way connection.

It is as good as failsafe can get.
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