Company criticised in 2016 for doubling minimum cost of TV service tells COVID patients they have to pay to watch
Hospedia, the company that provides bedside TV units to more than 130 NHS sites, has recommenced steep charges for its service. According to hospital staff, access to the service had been free of charge since the pandemic began – but the company has now removed free access ‘without warning’.
One hospital worker told the SKWAWKBOX:
Many of the COVID patients we look after are elderly or suffering dementia and the free TV service was very helpful for them. Yesterday however, Hospedia – without warning – removed all free access and as a result, only those able or willing to pay can now access the TV functionality.
The major issue I have with this is it’s profiteering from very poorly, vulnerable people. Also, they have done so knowing the NHS is at or around capacity, with deaths higher than ever.
The comment from Hospedia to one of our poorly patients yesterday was ‘if you don’t pay, you don’t watch’
Hospedia was criticised in 2016 for doubling the minimum charge for its bedside TV service. It told the Daily Mail that it had not doubled the price but had removed a cheaper two-hour package because of ‘low demand’.
Now, as the coronavirus pandemic exceeds the number of hospital admissions and deaths seen in the first wave of the crisis, it has reinstituted steep charges to patients struggling to breathe and to maintain mental health.
The company also charges for incoming calls to patients, but provides outgoing calls free during the pandemic according to a ‘COVID-19 update’ on its website.
Hospedia was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.
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