The original form of patient entertainment

Chocolate: Photography by Michele Blackwell

The original form of patient entertainment

Hospital radio is a form of audio broadcasting produced specifically for the in-patients of hospitals, primarily in the United Kingdom. It is a volunteer-run service that provides patients with a range of programs, including music, news, interviews, and chat for patient entertainment.

The History

The earliest known hospital radio station was established in 1919 at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C. The first in the United Kingdom was installed at York County Hospital in 1925. Throughout the 1930s, radio stations began operating in a handful of other hospitals, with live music supplementing the speech-based programs.

In the early days, hospital radio was often seen as a way to distract patients from their pain and boredom. However, it has since come to be seen as much more than that. It can provide patients with a sense of community, a link to the outside world, and a way to relax and de-stress.

Hospital radio is also a great way for volunteers to give back to their community. Volunteers come from all walks of life, and they bring a wealth of skills and experience to the table. They are responsible for everything from producing programs to maintaining the equipment.

Today, there are over 170 hospital radio stations in the UK, and they reach millions of patients each year. Hospital radio is a vital part of the NHS, and it plays an important role in the recovery of patients.

Here are some of the benefits of hospital radio:

  • Distraction: Hospital radio can help to distract patients from their pain and boredom.
  • Socialization: Hospital radio can help patients to connect with others and feel like they are part of a community.
  • Relaxation: Hospital radio can help patients to relax and de-stress.
  • Information: Hospital radio can provide patients with information about their treatment, the hospital, and the outside world.
  • Entertainment: Hospital radio can provide patients with entertainment, such as music, news, and chat shows.

If you are interested in volunteering at a hospital radio station, there are a few things you can do:

  • Contact your local hospital radio station: Most hospital radio stations have websites or social media pages where you can find contact information.
  • Attend a training session: Most hospital radio stations offer training sessions for new volunteers.
  • Start volunteering: Once you have completed the training, you can start volunteering at your local hospital radio station.

Hospital radio is a great way to give back to your community and help patients during their time in hospital. If you are interested in volunteering, I encourage you to contact your local hospital radio station today.