Edward Mountain

Fairer Hospital TV Charges

Campaign for Fairer Hospital TV Charges

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I have launched a campaign to ensure fairer hospital TV charges for patients in NHS Highland. 

The current pricing system for beside television at Raigmore Hospital is extortionate and prohibitive. Hospedia, the company that is responsible for operating bedside television in NHS Highland and many Health Boards across Scotland, is currently charging up to £9.90 per day for television and films. 

For some long-stay patients, that price can quickly become unaffordable. The daily cost of hospital television is simply not proportionate, especially when compared to a basic subscription to Netflix which costs £5.99 per month. 

Patients who can no longer afford expensive bedside TVs can begin to suffer from boredom, loneliness and isolation. This set of feelings is unlikely to aid recovery during a long-stay in the hospital.

At the moment patients can only watch the traditional 5 channels for free at their bedside from 8am until 12 noon. There is nothing stopping Hospedia from extending that offer. Indeed, in various children’s wards across the country, Hospedia already offers free bedside television from 7am until 7pm. 

I believe patients are reasonable in their expectations. They do not expect all of the TV channels to be free of charge, all of the time. Indeed, the last thing patients would want is to see vital health care funding being spent on bedside television. What patients really want is a fairer deal.

Hospedia’s contract with NHS Highland expires in June 2019 so now is the time for NHS Highland to secure fairer hospital TV charges for patients. I am pressing NHS Highland to look at all the options.