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.

Introducing Your Hospedia Bedside TV & Phone System
Most beds in hospital have a Hospedia bedside TV, phone and entertainment system to help make your stay as comfortable as possible. Services may vary by hospital and ward – please see bedside unit for actual service:

  • FREE TV typically 8am-12noon, channels 1-5*
  • FREE TV 7am-7pm in children’s wards*
  • FREE outbound phone calls to 01, 02, 03 numbers and mobiles
  • FREE radio
  • Up to 29 TV channels*
  • Sky Sports*
  • BT Sports*
  • Over 50 new and classic movies*
  • TV Box Sets*
  • Internet and Audiobooks*
  • Information service, surveys and feedback

* some services vary by hospital

When you reach your hospital bed, follow the instructions on the bedside screen to get yourself set up on the TV. It only takes a few moments and then you’re all set.

To use our services (including your free TV, Radio and calls to landlines numbers beginning 01, 02 and 03), you will need to create an account first. It’s easy, and this information secures your account and stops others from using your credit in case you move beds during your stay. We only ask for your initial, surname and date of birth to create your account. Your personal details are safe, and will not be passed on to anyone.

If you have problems getting started, just pick up your bedside phone to speak to our Customer Care Team. This is always a FREE call from the bedside, and our Advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.

If you want to use a chargeable service, like TV or films, you’ll need to put some credit into your ‘Account’ on your bedside TV & Phone.

You can either add credit by purchasing a Paycard with cash at one of our many vending machines located either in or near to your ward; or just pick up the phone and chat with our Customer Care Team. To add credit yourself using a debit or credit card just follow the on-screen instructions.

If you’re a relative or friend, you can purchase credit for a patient by dialing 0345 414 1234.

If you are not planning on taking any means of payment with you to hospital, please call our customer care team on 0345 414 1234 before your stay, and they can create your account and add credit for you to use when you are in hospital.

We have a range of bedside TVs, which differ depending upon the hospital and ward that you are in, so you may have a TV that is touch screen, or that has a separate control with a keyboard.

Each TV however, has clear instructions on how to use it, but if you experience any difficulty just pick up the handset and speak to our customer service centre (free of charge) who will be happy to help talk you through using the TV and setting up your account. They will also be able to recommend an entertainment bundle suitable to you, depending on your viewing preferences and your predicted length of stay.

You can also set up an account and pre-purchase any entertainment packages in advance of your hospital stay by calling us on 0345 414 1234.

We understand that being in hospital can sometimes be a daunting time, and we are committed to helping your stay be as comfortably as possible.

If you know are going to be in hospital, then you can set up an TV account before you go, and pre-purchase credit for your stay. Then when you arrive in your bed, you just need to pick up the phone handset to our customer service centre to activate it!

Just call us on 0345 414 1234 for more details.

Many of the hospital that we have our bedside TVs in, run regular surveys. These may be related to the quality of your food, your level of hydration, or more broadly about the experience of your stay.

These surveys are designed to enable the hospital to continue to listen to the voice of patients, and is used to ensure that services are continually monitored and improved to make your stay safer and more comfortable.

If there are surveys being run on your Bedside TV, please take time to provide your feedback.

Thank you!

© 2020 Hospedia Limited