Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, is helping Bedrock Radio to bring Hospital Radio back to all wards of Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
In 2017 the patient entertainment (Radio, TV & phone) system, operated by a third-party provider under contract with the Hospital Trust became defunct and was switched off, this system provided the primary broadcasting method of listening to Hospital Radio on the wards of Queen’s hospital. NHS Digital has helped Hospital Trusts & CCG’s to introduce NHS WiFi. As Bedrock Radio already broadcasts online, with patients & visitors able use the NHS WiFi where they can download the Bedrock Radio app to their devices to listen to the station.
However, this system isn’t inclusive enough to all patients in the Hospital, as it requires patients to use their own (or family members) smartphones or tablet devices. With a small number of patients who have managed to download the Bedrock radio app have reported problems caused by poor Wi-Fi reception in their wards.
Bedrock Radio want to change this.
Bedrock Radio where granted permission to re-utilise the dormant patient entertainment system when it was switched off, the cabling covers the majority of the building and will allow us to once again provide Hospital Radio services to the wards of Queen’s Hospital, without the need for patients to use their personal devices.
Trustee; Lee Howe developed a solution, to use WiFi enabled devices that will be pre-programmed with Hospital Radio channels, with simple controls that will automatically connect to the Hospital Radio Network, reusing the patient entertainment system cabling across the hospital.
Lee said “This is a unique challenge to hospital radio, we’ve been researching ways to achieve this, and testing ‘off the shelf’ products to see what radio devices are the easiest to use.
Bedrock will first need to install the relevant reequipment to reenable the patient entertainment system, we’re grateful that this grant can enable this work to happen. Bedrock will then trial a few radio units to see the sort of response and fix any problems before seeking funding for more radio units.
Lee added: “There is a longer term goal to see if we can something bespoke, with simple, clear buttons, but could allow us to share with the rest of the Hospital Radio community who are in similar positions to ourselves.”
Bedrock Radio are working with local companies to help refine the software the radio’s need, cabling infrastructure to find the best locations to install equipment re-utilising the cabling and Patient Experience within Queen’s Hospital to improve patients stay. Bedrock Radio are seeking suppliers to 3D print the radio’s housing & printed circuit boards to ensure solid connections whilst also working to ensure these devices are safe, reliable & are easy to clean.
Follow Our Progress
Bedrock Radio has a heritage of over 55+ years of hospital broadcasting.
Pre-Covid, volunteers visited the wards of the hospitals talking to patients and collecting their song requests, volunteers understand how something as a simple as hearing your favourite song can affect your health and mental well-being.
Patients shouldn’t be excluded from entertainment or mental stimulation because they don’t have the technology available to them on their road to recovery.
Thanks to the Government for making this possible