The Changing Face of Hospital Radio

This section of the Community RA+Edio website was inspired by a comment made by Steve Barber, the Vice Chair at East Herts Hospital Radio.

As we were setting up this website, I contacted a number of hospital radio stations to introduce our service and to find out if there were any similar problems being faced by stations across the UK. From this research, it turned out that many hospital radio stations had been forced to close, or were facing challenges to continue broadcasting.

East Herts Hospital Radio is an example of this as they broadcast their last programme on the 27th June 2011. Steve Barber told me that

The various local NHS bodies are in the process of closing the QE2 to inpatients and transferring services to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. On the QE2 site there is planned to be a Local General Hospital which will have limited inpatient beds.
Due to this site redevelopment we have had to leave the building in which our studio was based. As there will be a very low number of inpatients it will not be viable to operate a hospital radio station at the QE2.
Steve then finished his email with the following comment:
I would be interested to learn of the other reasons that stations are closing – I guess that it could be a mix of hospital closures, lack of volunteers, growth of other media (either 3G online/WiFi, cheapness of MP3 players) and the ever shortening of hospital stays as healthcare improves. 
But as I researched further into this, it turned out that many hospital radio stations were actually fighting to stay open. They were moving premises, expanding their services and branching out to include an online streaming service.
Therefore, the Changing Face of Hospital Radio section was born. We will be bringing you examples of stations across the UK who are making difficult decisions and being innovative to continue broadcasting to their hospital patients!

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