Queen's Hospital - WiFi Ward Radio Project
Project Update: March 2022
The pandemic severely slowed this project down in a number of ways;
From not being able to access wards due to coronavirus restrictions, to a global shortage of electronic equipment.
We purchased and received our WiFi access points that will go onto each ward for the radios to connect to (Replacing the defunct wireless receivers from the former bedside TV/phone system)
Our biggest delay (aside from Covid) is the networking equipment which has been on backorder, with no delivery date cited.
We have since cancelled this order as we have found a comparable product that is in stock!
We are hoping for these to be delivered by end of April 2022 so we can begin to install the Bedrock WiFi in May.
The initial proof of concept unit, while functional wasn’t perfect and the recent component shortages are also driving the price of the radios up.
We have decided to remove the small LCD display screens to simplify wiring, while this was a nice feature it was difficult to mount.
The advantage is the radio is slightly smaller and would therefore use less plastic to print.
To co-inside with our WiFi due to be installed within first half of 2022, we have also invested in four ‘off the shelf’ WiFi radios that we will set up and test with the Bedrock WiFi across the hospital. While we finalise and build our first live-trial ‘RockBox’ Radios.
Patient Entertainment (Radio, TV & phone) system, operated by a third-party provider under contract with the Hospital Trust became defunct and is switched off, most equipment is removed. This system provided the primary broadcasting method of listening to Hospital Radio on the wards of Queen’s Hospital.
By 2017 the last of the TV equipment was switched off.
Bedrock Radio liaised with Head of Estates at the Trust to see if a new system was to be installed.
With Bedrock Radio given permission to use the now redundant cabling if we could find a use for it.
Working with the contractor (Globe) we established where all the Patient Entertainment Network cabling terminated. As Globe used some of the network install TV's in waiting rooms across the hospital.
NHS Digital rolls out WiFi working with Hospital Trusts & CCG’s across England to introduce NHS WiFi.
Patients & visitors able use the NHS WiFi where they can download the Bedrock Radio app to their devices to listen to the station.
Bedrock Radio work with Patient Experience to find solutions to return Hospital Radio to wards & keep patients entertained.
As NHS WiFi 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.
Bedrock Radio invest in two handheld tablet devices which are programmed to only run our Mobile App. The tablets are put out onto a ward to test, with some reported problems caused by poor Wi-Fi reception in the ward.
Bedrock Radio has been searching for a solution to re-utilise the dormant patient entertainment network, of which the cabling covers the majority of the building.
We believe we can create a private 'Bedrock WiFi' network using this cabling that will allow us to be able to deploy tablets / WiFi radios around the wards of Queen's Hospital.
Working with Globe, we installed a couple of WiFi Access points as a test, we connected the Radio Tablets to these with success with the tablets having a more stable connection.
The project required major funding for the volume of hardware required.
We have designed a bespoke, purpose built and easy to use bedside radio that will be plug and play.
Designed by our Engineer Lee Howe, he has developed a 3D printed radio that will be pre-programmed with Hospital Radio channels the unit comes with volume controls & will automatically connect to Bedrock WiFi.
Our Prototype is made of pre-built electronic components that require wiring together. It houses a micro computer that manages the WiFi connection & the playing music.
We're working to ensure these devices are safe, reliable & are easy to clean.
Plus to secure funding to build the radios and install & expand the WiFi to the wards.
Bedrock Radio have been lucky enough to secure funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund and the Government to help part fund this project.
The most expensive parts of the project include;
3D printed bodies for the radios, The WiFi & network equipment & acquiring the micro computers that run the radios.
We have a working proof of concept prototype radio.
This prototype has allowed us to really get a feel for the project, We're now able to see what components we can upgrade to improve performance, design and assembly.
We're seeking a local company who can help us further improve our design & layouts.
With an objective to improve reliability and highlight any safety aspects, plus become Design for Manufacture ready to potentially reduce costs.
We have redesigned the 'RockBox' from our prototype, removing the display screen and making the box smaller and more supported.
Following global electronic supply shortage, some of our equipment to create 'Bedrock WiFi' is on backorder, we have found a like-for-like product that in stock and hope these will be delivered by May 2022
Meadow Court - Hospital Radio Install
The North East London Foundation NHS Trust have acquired Meadow Court, making it part of Goodmayes hospital providing physical health rehabilitation and care to patients.
Staff working at Meadow Court have asked if Hospital Radio can be heard in the three new wards, like it can in the main building.
Discussions with NEFLT resulted in a site visit with
Bedrock Radio Trustee Head Of Engineering, Lee meeting with relevant departments for a site tour.
Approximately 80 speakers would be required to service the entire building.
Due to the size of the system & it's complexity
Bedrock Radio has outsourced the design to Bosh.
The current plans & estimated equipment costs have been send back to NELFT as we now seek funding for the project.