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Hospital television charges defended
PATIENTS at York Hospital are paying up to £10 a day to watch television – charges which some have said are too expensive to afford.
People undergoing treatment are charged £10 for a 24-hour “bundle” of films, television channels, radio, internet and outgoing telephone calls.
A cheaper £7.50 deal is available for 18 hours of viewing, while the cheapest package available costs £2.50 for two hours of television, radio and phone calls.
Samantha Watson, said her brother-in-law had paid a considerable amount on television while being treated at the hospital as well as her late father, Michael Watson, who was treated there before he died.
She said: “When you’re on your own in a room, that’s your only comfort but the cost of it is scandalous. It’s daylight robbery and it’s not fair.”
Other patients have said while bundles for days and weeks at a time were available, it is often not known how long patients would be in hospital, and said 24-hour packages were only valid for one day, irrespective of the number of hours you had watched.
Kerry L Grant, another patient who contacted The Press, said: “It’s wrong they charge for 24 hours when you won’t see it for that time and it annoyed me that even when you’ve turned it off it automatically comes on at 6am. It cost a fortune but when you’re stuck in there and can barely move to leave your bed your choices are limited. Another rip-off company taking advantage of vulnerable people.”
Another patient, Kate Curtis, told The Press: “I’ve been in twice recently for three days, each time spending £10 a day. It’s disgusting”.
The service at York Hospital is run by business Hospedia, which said: “To date, Hospedia has invested over £190m into rolling out bedside systems across the NHS and we have expanded our services considerably. We are continuously reviewing feedback from over 13,000 patients each month using our on-screen surveys and our current price packages now receive an overwhelmingly positive response from patients.”
A York Hospital spokesman said: “While York Hospital offers Hospedia we make it clear there is a charge for this service and it is down to patient choice.
“Radio is free 24 hours a day with a wide choice of stations.
“Many patients choose to bring in their own mobile devices to make phone calls and view entertainments and we encourage people to do so. These may be used anywhere in the hospital except where signage is displayed to prohibit use or staff ask people not to.”
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