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Bedside robbery’ as hospital TV costs more than TV for prisoners

October 16, 2019 9:20 AM
By Nick Machnik-Foster

Bedside robbery' as hospital TV costs more than TV for prisoners

· Prisoners pay less for TV that patients in Wolverhampton New Cross

· Latest revelation as part of Lib Dems NHS SOS campaign

Hospital patients and their families in New Cross in Wolverhampton are being treated as 'cash cows' and forced to pay a variety of 'rip-off' fees, according health campaigners. Patients are paying more than prisoners to watch TV.

Some patients are being asked to pay up to £10 a day just to watch TV and make phone calls.

Watching free-to-air channels costs at least £7.90 a day - 18 times as much as a TV licence a day - and none of the money goes to the NHS.

New Cross like the majority of hospitals in the region contract Hospedia to provide their entertainment services, which sets its own prices nationally.

A standard Sky entertainment package with Movies and Kids bundles will cost you more than £40 a month - the same price as a 'TV, Movies and More' pass for seven days on the Hospedia TV service provided at many of the region's hospitals.

Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats, have described the TV and phones charges as a "total rip off".

This comes after it's been shown that in-cell TVs for prisoners costs £1 per week for prisoners to rent.

The shock revelation comes as part of the parties NHS SOS campaign to defend and extend health services in the city and to fight for patients' rights.

Wolverhampton Liberal Democrat campaigner Natasha Allmark said:

"When channels are free at home and people have already paid for their TV licence, it is unfair for them to need to pay it again. It is just bedside robbery.

"These fees are a total rip off. I don't know how anyone can think its ok to charge a prisoner a pound and a sick pensioner a tenner to watch TV. We must stop treating the sick as cash cows.

"Older people typically have longer hospital stays and do not always have a mobile phone.

"It is time we kicked this blatant profiteering out our local NHS."

Ends

Notes to editors - The tariffs of Hospedia are below.

The figure about prisoners and TV is from Fullfact which can be found here: https://fullfact.org/health/cost-tv-hospital-prison/

TV Bundles available for purchase -

TV & Movies

TV & Movies 1 day - £9.90

TV & Movies 3 day - £24.90

TV & Movies 7 day - £39.90

TV & Movies 14 day - £49.90

TV & Movies 30 day - £59.90

TV & Movie Content -

25 TV Channels

70+ Films

Unlimited calls to UK Landlines

Capped calls to mobiles (2 minutes)

Radio

TV only

TV 1 day - £7.90

TV 3 day - £19.90

TV 7 day - £34.90

TV Content -

20 TV Channels

Unlimited calls to UK Landlines

Capped calls to mobiles (2 minutes)

Radio

Please note that all bundles run on a continuous basis, for example if you start a 1 Day TV and Movies Bundle at 10am today it will expire at 10am tomorrow.

When you are located your bedside at New Cross Hospital simply pick up the bedside telephone and press operater, one of our Customer Care Advisors will be able to set up your account and activate your chosen Bundle.