Helping Patients Get Interactive

Volunteers at Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells are now able to get more interactive with their listeners in the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, Tonbridge Cottage Hospital and surrounding community, thanks to a project funded by the Hospital Broadcasting Association and the Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club who have enabled the team to buy and set up a special Communications Hub and Text Service.

In the photo are (from left to right) Arthur Hosmer (Hospital Radio) Phil Kidby (seated Hospital Radio) Peter Cornish (Rotary) Bill Bullen (Rotary) Christine Simpson (Rotary) Chris Norman (Rotary) Chris Makey (seated at front Hospital Radio)

The new Communications Hub enables the radio presenters to access social media, e-mails, telephone calls and text messages. Patients who have a mobile phone or tablet can contact the team via Facebook or on Twitter as well as by e-mail, telephone and by sending a text to 60777 starting the message with the letters HRTW. This enables patients to interact with the presenters in real time and rather than having to wait for a request to be played they should be able to hear it immediately.

Hospital Radio Station Manager Chris Manser explained, “One of the key features of Hospital Radio is the ability of patients to interact with the service and have a request played or their name mentioned which helps raise their self esteem and has been proven to aid recovery. With the rapid turnover of patients in the hospital we’re not able to get request collectors around the wards as frequently as we need, so enabling the patients to be able to make contact with us, quickly and easily is a great step forward and we are most grateful to the Hospital Broadcasting Association and the Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club, who financed the buying and setting up of the Communications Hub and Text Service.”

Chris Norman of the Rotary Club explained “that for many years the club has had a strong bond with the Children’s Ward at Pembury Hospital supporting them with decorating the ward at Christmas and funding a Sensory room, so when this opportunity to extend our bond came up via the Hospital Radio Service we felt it was a worthwhile project for us to support and we are pleased to see how the text service will bring pleasure to the patients by enabling them to contact the radio team and have requests played more easily.”

The Hospital Broadcasting Association’s funding for this project came as a result of an application to the HBA’s Grants scheme. The HBA accept applications from member stations 3 times a year. The funds can be used to purchase equipment and other materials they need but cannot afford. The grants awarded are up to £500, this together with the funding from the Southborough and Pembury Rotary Club enabled Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells to buy and set up their Communications Hub and Text Service. For further details of the HBA’s Grants scheme contact the HBA Treasurer at