THE WARDS of Warwick Hospital are a lot quieter after all the bedside television and phone sets were removed.
When half of the ‘bedside entertainment systems’ in the 486 bed hospital stopped working, hospital chiefs decided to terminate their contract with suppliers Premier Telecom Contracts – six years before it was due to end.
The hospital – which is run by South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) – has lost no money through ending the contract as the systems were supplied by the company, which charged patients nearly £5 a day to use.
Nearby hospitals Leamington, Ellen Badger and Stratford – also ran by SWFT – have not been affected by the termination of the contract as they do not use the same system.
A recent Warwick Hospital patient, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is the second time I have been admitted to Warwick in the past few months and without the television to watch it can be a really long day.
“Some people, particularly older ones, don’t have mobile phones or laptops to watch television on so you can end up sitting around for hours not doing anything.”
Hospital bosses hope increasing free internet access across the Lakin Road site will be a short-term solution to the problem, enabling patients who own a laptop or tablet to watch programmes on their device.
They also plan to provide a phone on each ward which can be used in ‘compassionate circumstances’ and a number of high-security safes to keep patient’s electronic devices safe.
A spokeswoman from the hospital said: “The supplier of the bedside entertainment system failed to provide an acceptable service and the problem gradually worsened to the point where 50 per cent of the site’s beds were without access.
“This was due to equipment failure and is likely to increase significantly in coming years as there do not appear to be any plans for the supplier to replace the now obsolete consoles without significant investment from the trust.
“Last month we completed a survey with a selection of both patients and staff. This aimed to find out what was required on the wards now the TV units have been removed. In the interim the Trust has expanded and promoted its free Wi-Fi service for patients to use their own personal devices to access internet services whenever they wish to.”
Visiting at the hospital is currently restricted due to an outbreak of winter vomiting bug Norovirus.
There is no visiting on Squire Ward and Nicholas Ward. All other wards are open for restricted hours between 1.30pm to 3.30pm and 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
Visit www.swft.nhs.uk for updates.