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

4 Minute Read

The months are flying by, and as each one passes, we are able to gain a greater understanding of how the NHS and its patients are enjoying our patient engagement platform, SPARK® Media 

Every month we take a look at the usage data collected by our Analytics platform to see what the nation’s favourite entertainment resources were. All our customers receive monthly feedback on their site’s detailed usage, and we work with them to drive initiatives, raise awareness and push innovation, but it is when we look at the country as a whole that we are able to pick out trends and see how we can drive our product’s growth.  

The figures

Live TV saw 30% of usage in March 2022 with the evenings seeing peaks in viewership. The most popular channels remained BBC One, Two, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, but compared to figures from 2021 where it took 60% of usage, live TV has lost its reign as the most beloved entertainment outlet. 

Last month saw the second month in a row that our Games platform overtook TV as the most popular entertainment service. 38% of all users chose to play Sudoku over watching Eastenders, this shows a growth of 17% on 2021 where just 21% of the platform’s usage was being spent on digital games.  

On-demand TV has seen growth too, taking up just 12% of usage in 2021, we now see it nipping at the heels of live TV with 26% of all usage. Users are able to enjoy on-demand Freeview TV from the iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, and My5 as well as having easy access to all of their favourite subscription sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.  

An Ofcom report into how the nation consumes media content found that following the pandemic, streaming services are witnessing exponential growth in viewership, as time progresses it will be interesting to see if the data we collect from SPARK® Media will come to reflect that, it is certainly beginning to look that way.  

Trust insights

851,328 users enjoyed SPARK® Media in March and 23,257 of those visits were from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Foundation Trust (UHNM). With a comprehensive SPARK® Media suite, UHNM gives its patients, visitors, and staff access to free TV, radio, digital magazines, links to UHNM Charity resources, dementia aid, and 24/7/365 support. You can read a case study on our work with the Trust here.   

Other than the universally popular entertainment links, UHNM users enjoyed four resources more than any: Hospital Radio Stafford, UHNMcharity.org, BBC Music Memories, and the BBC Archive. With the latter two resources developed for the BBC to aid those living with dementia, UHNM is benefiting from easily accessible assets to drive the recovery of patients and encourage independent growth.  

As for Hospital Radio Stafford and UHNM Charity, the two beloved institutions are funded by charitable donations from the community and beyond. Their presence on a Trust-wide patient engagement platform ensures that they are able to increase awareness, expand their own community and get people involved. As the top two entertainment resources, we can see that this goal is being achieved.  


At WiFi SPARK, we’re constantly striving to ensure that our patient engagement platform works for more than just patients. In the coming years, we are looking to introduce a number of integrations that streamline administration and clinical service delivery but there are sorely needed innovations that we are yet to discover and we need the help of healthcare staff.  

We’re establishing a Special Interest Group that will help us understand the real and changing pain points faced by staff across the industry. If you’d like to help us generate change that directly benefits you, your Trust, and your patients, get in touch now.  

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