HBA Conference 2014: Hospedia

It was inevitable. Of all of the seminars that would be expected to over-run, Hospedia’s business briefing to the HBA would have been one of the most likely alongside the planned Sunday morning session with Alan Dedicoat.

Ben Packman joined the HBA in Bristol to give an honest and frank review of the last few years and the plans for Hospedia in the future; he knew that mistakes had been made and that the company had to turn many things around.

The Business Review

Hospedia are not just about the provision of radio and TV for patients, but those services are part of a larger offering to make NHS Trusts more efficient and less costly; Hospedia is expecting to turn a  profit for the first time in 2014.

Usage Statistics

As many of our members already know, Hospedia have access to a range of statistics. Ben said that around 60% of beds that are considered in use currently make use of free Hospedia services such as hospital radio and 25% of beds in use make use of paid for services such as television packages.

Trends of use predictably match with events outside of the hospital environment such as major TV sporting events or other “hot shows” and that for paid services, 60% of all credit purchased is by visitors to the patient. He also mentioned some of the more specialist entertainment packages that Hospedia offer; for example for patients that need to attend renal units for dialysis in many areas can get 4 hour TV packages for the short time they are in hospital.

Upgrading

For those members who are currently transmitting from sites using the T1 terminals this is your warning; Hospedia will be looking at your hospitals soon. The increasingly short stock of older components for these and the long-lifespan they have already had; means that these are among the first sites considered for upgrading. An average upgrade costs more than half a million pounds per hospital and approximately 6000 to 7000 terminals per year.

Ben stated that Hospedia are having serious discussions with all T1-terminal sites and they are getting a range of responses from the hospital management. It is inevitable that where there is resistance to the upgrades there is a risk that Hospedia will consider whether to withdraw as a whole. This will in some instances mean terminals are removed and in others that terminals remain the property of the hospital.

Most upgrades and new installations are with T3 terminals using DSLAM or Cat 5e infrastructure, but in some private wards; set-top boxes and wide-screen TV’s are being installed.

Maintenance

Ben acknowledged that one of the big problems they have faced in recent months was the shortage of headphones. He said that supplies should be heading back to normal levels and hospitals should have stocks; but at the height of the issue, it was estimated to be costing Hospedia substantial amounts every day and they have learned some important lessons from that.

Maintenance statistics have improved overall though. Ben said that at the takeover of Patientline, the average fix time of bedside services was 3.5 days; this has since reduced to 1.7 days across the whole estate (and 18 hours excluding the T1 terminals).

Hospedia and Hospital Radio

Ben Packman reassured the delegates in the Hospedia seminar that the company is committed to it’s free broadcasting for hospital radio service providers; they acknowledge that there are a lot of hospital radio volunteers who help patients with their Hospedia terminals, report faults or help in other ways.

If you are having Hospedia related issues that you can not resolve locally, please contact Graham Medhurst (HBA Patient Entertainment Systems Committee Chair) who will be able to advise you of the best person in Hospedia to contact.

Introducing - The Ward Liaison Team

Hospedia also have the Ward Liaison Team who are responsible to getting information out to stakeholders within the hospitals including ward desks, PALS and YOU! Lots of e-mails bounce when sent to stations but you can keep your details up to date.

E-mail The Team at ward.liaison@hospedia.com with your primary contact details, hospitals you broadcast to and operating hours.
Call The Team on 0845 414 0902 (office hours only) for headphone issues, faults or questions.

ALL registered hospital radio stations will receive quarterly listening figures from 05 May 2014

Hospedia are important to many HBA Members. HBA Members are important to Hospedia.