Internet use monitored at hospital

MORE than 5,500 hours were spent surfing the internet by hospital staff in west Suffolk last month, it has emerged.But managers at West Suffolk Hospital said they were not concerned because the time spent on the internet equated to just 11 minutes per day per member of staff.

MORE than 5,500 hours were spent surfing the internet by hospital staff in west Suffolk last month, it has emerged.

But managers at West Suffolk Hospital said they were not concerned because the time spent on the internet equated to just 11 minutes per day per member of staff.

The hospital decided to undertake an audit of internet usage during the whole of June and warned staff beforehand that any suspicious or inappropriate behaviour or excessive amounts of time spent on the internet would be reported to line managers.

But the survey has found that the trust's 2,063 full-time equivalent staff use the internet sparingly.


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A spokeswoman for the trust said: “I'm sure that you asked any member of staff whether they had enough time to mess about on the internet, the answer would be that they are far too busy getting on with the business of delivering the best possible healthcare for the people of west Suffolk.”

And last month's internet monitoring did not expose any member of staff thought to be using the internet improperly.

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The spokeswoman added: “The trust allows limited access for personal use to the internet for staff during their lunch and coffee breaks.

“Also, staff can use the internet café in the Time Out restaurant before and after work hours.”

Staff were alerted to the internet monitoring beforehand by the trust's information governance manager Barry Moult.

In an email released to the EADT under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr Moult said that if anybody was found using the internet suspiciously or spending too much time on line they faced being reported to their line manager.

He also warned, in his email, that from now on random checks would be carried out.

The total amount of time all staff spent on-line during June was 5,608 hours and that included all usage such as business, teaching, research, educational and personal.

The trust uses specialist software that prevents staff being able to view websites that might cause offence.

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