How is the NHS' favourite patient engagement platform performing? A look back at February 2022

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There goes another month of 2022 and here comes the third installment of our SPARK® Media data blog. SPARK Media usage sites

Each month we look at how the NHS’ favourite patient engagement platform is performing. Through this data, we are able to better understand what works and is enjoyed by patients across the country as well as what isn’t really used.  

When looking at applications with low engagement rates, we’re able to make positive changes and discern whether we’re delivering content that people don’t enjoy as much or whether we have an issue with our user interface.  

The brilliant thing about SPARK® Media is that it is tailored to each location. So, what works at our number one usage location, Betsi Caladwadr University Health Board, may not be so popular at our tenth highest usage site, Portsmouth NHS, and we are able to tailor the platform’s offering to the people that use it.  

SPARK® Media is accessed via the NHS’ free guest-access WiFi. Once connected, patients visitors, and staff are able to browse the entertainment, engagement, and educational resources on offer. Whilst most of the platform is free, and as mentioned earlier, the offering differs from site to site, SPARK® Media also hosts all of your favourite streaming sites such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime where a pre-existing account is necessary.  

But last month one particular application took off, SPARK® Media: Games. Our library of digital games for all ages saw 3,374 users in February and, interestingly, a higher percentage of SPARK® Media visitors chose to play a game instead of watching TV.  

There are a great number of benefits to playing brain-teasing games such as Sudoku including aiding with memory, reducing the risk of dementia, and improving attention span. By giving users the option to play a free selection of games on SPARK® Media whilst waiting for an appointment, the NHS is encouraging brain health and mental agility. 

That doesn’t mean TV wasn’t loved last month, 7,330 users relaxed with some television, and 2,809 people caught up on their favourite programmes through on-demand links.  

On top of this, 881 people clicked on charity banners on the SPARK® Media portal last month. Being able to find a wealth of site-specific Trust charity information, links on how to volunteer, and how to donate, means that if each user donated £10, charities had the opportunity to raise £8,810 last month. 

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Whilst it’s fascinating to look at the usage statistics across the board, each of our Trusts gets a monthly review meeting with our Head of Network Operations to review their site-specific data. West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, managing a 430-bed hospital, is one of those Trusts.  

In February, West Suffolk saw 13,820 visits to SPARK® Media, 32x the number of beds. These numbers suggest that the platform is being loved by patients, visitors, and staff. 

As a site that provides TV, BBC One was West Suffolk’s favourite channel with ITV coming a close second and Channel 4 third. With consistent early evening usage it’s safe to assume that we have some soap fans enjoying the platform.  

On-demand services took off too, with the top four most visited applications being BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and the ITV Hub.  

Interestingly, last month at West Suffolk saw an increase in interest in the ‘My Care’ tab of the SPARK® Media platform. Providing an array of NHS information to encourage patients to play an active role in their healthcare, users can explore an A-Z of medicine, watch informative videos or receive advice.  

Across the entire NHS, radio saw a big month. Whilst West Suffolk didn’t top the standings with the most radio listens, The Christie nabbed that title with 662 listeners, it was West Suffolk’s patients that chose regional radio above all others. Tuning into Radio Suffolk via the SPARK® Media entertainment tab, users got their local news and entertainment throughout February.  

Visiting these SPARK® Media statistics each month allows us insight into the development of our engagement solutions. As our offering expands to deliver engagement on the bedside entertainment units installed across the NHS, we will be able to better understand the array of entertainment desired by patients.


SPARK® Media is forever evolving to respond to the needs of the NHS’ patients visitors and staff but this is only possible with active engagement from the NHS itself. To ensure we’re delivering just what you need, we’ve established a Special Interest Group where we will seek the input and advice of the industry. If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, we’d love to have you on board.  

Fill out the form via the link below and we’ll be in touch. 

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