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2016 What Option Did We Have ?

Close the Station, Time to Walk Away

The fundamentals of hospital radio is about playing music and lifting the spirits of the patient,this is achieved by first visiting them on their ward and then by conversation and by playing their music choice.

Early history of patient radio, shows patients being in hospital for long stays and the radio was introduced to relieve the boredom.

Hospital stays by patients has been declining dramatically over the last ten years as advances in medical treatment means less time recovering in hospital.

In the early days there was no mobile devices to keep in contact with your loved ones,if you were lucky you had a choice of 4 bed head radio services and a set of plastic headphones.

Decision Time

We had always believed in the option that a mobile device held by a patient was the best option to keep in contact with and services should be directed towards that mobile. Our own loan radio service which ran for some years was testimony to the benefit of close contact with the listener.

As far back as 2007,We were informed by the trust, as we were in a wooden building, at some point we would have to move as their policy then, was to remove all wooden buildings.

In 2009 the trust informed us that we were in the way of any potential new build, in addition services were being changed at Heatherwood which left much fewer over night stays for patients. We were put in a state of limbo as recruitment was suspended and all projects were put on hold as we awaited the outcome of the trust plans.

Update Feb 2023

The studio is finally bulldozed along with all the surrounding buildings.

At the end of 2012 we provided the wi-fi service for ward four after a request from the trust, along with day room listening facilities and 6 ward radio's. It was the response to this and the expansion of smart devices guided us to move towards a radio stream delivered by the internet and not local cabling.

In 2015 we began work on seriously providing an internet service so as to cater for any changes to the hospital site.

In 2016 the station was ready to start delivering an internet stream from 10th June.

We had discussed the impending re-build of the hospital on many occasions and decided that we would see how the internet service was received. Working on the basis, that it might have been two years before the new hospital was with us, We would have then make the decision as to whether or not to move to the new build.

That was our overall plan,what we were not expecting was the events of 2016 and the options afforded us.


On the 5th October the station manager Dave Smith, met with the trust project team to discuss the future for the radio.

The trust said we could still broadcast to the hospital
but there would be no provision for non-clinical services in the new build.This was the killer blow as without premises at Heatherwood,the radio would close.

The trust has two other radio stations and would liaise on our behalf to share facilities at Frimley or Wexham.
This was a complete non starter as being remote from site and also sharing facilities with existing hospital radio's ?.

Unfortunately, We had people making decisions about our future, who didn't understand how and what makes hospital radio work.

In either option being remote from site isn't going to work, even if we could have found something locally,volunteers having to drive to the hospital pay parking fees then drive to another location to broadcast a show ?

Display Board 2017
The final photo,end of an era.(Sunday 22/01/2017)

Click to Enlarge:-

Walk Away

So there you have it, the reason Radio Heatherwood ceased broadcasting, with little or no option for the future and with further changes in medical care or some future lease problem, We decided now was the time to walk away.

R.I.P. Radio Heatherwood 1976 - 2016

2016 Year Forty Diary

2016 Year Forty Story Unfolds

For further information:- Follow the links

2016 Year Forty Stories

2016 Time To Walk Away

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