UK government giving up to 11,000 free iPads to care homes across England
Up to 11,000 free iPads will be distributed to care homes across England to keep residents in touch with relatives amid a surge in coronavirus deaths in the country, the UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
As part of the UK’s Adult Social Care Winter action plan, visits to care homes will be stopped completely in some areas of the country, with the new iPad initiative giving residents the ability to connect with loved ones and access virtual consultations with health care professionals.
At a total cost of £7.5m, each iPad will come ready to use and include a 12-month support package as well as a data-enabled SIM card for care homes without full access to WiFi.
We're giving up to 11,000 iPads to care homes to enable residents to connect with loved ones, & help to stop #coronavirus outbreaks in their tracks.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) September 27, 2020
This week the UK launched its official COVID-19 contact-tracing app, four months later than initially promised. The app uses the exposure notification API developed in joint partnership by Apple and Google, which allows public health agencies around the world to build cross-platform COVID-19 contact-tracing apps that alert users if they have been in close contact with somebody who tests positive for coronavirus.
“These tablets will be the gateway for so many residents to connect with loved ones, and allow staff to quickly access digital NHS services and information, to help stop Covid-19 outbreaks in their tracks,” said Hancock.
“Communicating with families and with other professionals is vital during this difficult period and we welcome the distribution of iPads, which should enable care providers to have better access to NHS support, and also enable people to keep in contact with their relatives.”