Why do you have to pay for TV in hospital?
When the Hospedia system was set up, it was a result of an Act of Parliament (the Patient Power Project). In this Act, it was mandated that the service wouldn’t be a cost to the NHS or funded by taxes. The result is that it is the users of the service that must, ultimately, be the ones to fund the installation, maintenance, support and development of the system.
There are many components that go into providing the Hospedia service.
Screens, arms, fixings, internet connectivity and technical staff
The equipment you use to watch TV and make a phone call. Nearly 60,000 screens installed at almost 140 hospitals, plus the arms and fixings that keep the unit safely on the wall.
It also involves the network, servers and other technology needed to deliver TV and telephone to the bedside. As well as the technical staff needed to develop and manage this.
Cleaning, maintenance, fixing and developing
The bedside units have to be cleaned on a weekly basis to ensure they don’t spread germs. Our team of 80 engineers also need to go from hospital to hospital fixing, maintaining and swapping out units, liaising with hospital staff and re-stocking the headphones. All the while, more engineers are working back at base to fix and update them so they can be returned to hospitals.
There’s also a software development team who create the application that allows you to access, select, log-in and manage your service. They also develop the software that means that you can have a unique phone number that follows you from bed-to-bed.
24×7 customer support
The system also needs to be supported by a customer services team. We get an average of 1500 calls every day and this can rise to 2500 at the most popular times. The contact centre team have to be available to patients on a 24×7 basis so they can assist you with billing, logging-in, upgrading to premium services and answering your questions.
Encoding programmes for the service
Then, of course, there’s the programmes you watch. All the content – whether Freeview or premium services – has to be encoded to work with our network. We have to pay premium providers subscription or license fees to make their programmes, films and games available on the Hospedia system.
We understand that being in hospital can be a difficult time. We know that having access to loved ones via the telephone and keeping them entertained and engaged with TV can be a big help and can improve patients’ well-being. We aim to keep prices as low as possible and provide options for those who are in hospital long-term.
Longer term packages work out cheaper
Buying on a day-by-day basis is the most expensive way to buy the service. However, a 7-day TV package works out at £4.99 per day and a 30-day all-services package is just £2.00 per day. We advise patients to buy a long-term package and get a refund for the unused days if and when you leave hospital. Remember to log-out of your account. Contact our customer services team to arrange your refund.
If you have any questions, you can pick up the handset and speak to the contact centre or use our contact form.