From my OH -
I have been an in/out patient over the last 14 years, the last 8 more regular and the last 4 being in every 6-8 weeks for 2-3 wks at a time. At time I have been in for 2wks, home for few days then bk in for a wk or so. Being in this amount of time is extremely difficult to cope with and yes I agree that the TV service is well over priced but I couldn't be in hospital for the time I am without it.
And no that's not because I can't bare to miss Jereme Kyle or know whats happening in Coronation Street but because there's only so long you can spend reading a book (though difficult to concentrate on), doing wordsearch or as I always do - play on my DS.
There are many for and against arguments to be had -
For - Occupies your mind, aiding your recovery. Many patients don't have visitors so watching the tv in hospital (as it is said at home) is 'company'.
The cost is a huge factor and I agree it should be cheaper. As a regular patient I am classed as a 'long term patient' an if I pay for 10 days currently £35 (value pack) I get 1 free day for every £10 I spend. (£35 then = 13 days). IF I go home before the 13 days or if I put extra days on but dont use them all then I can save them till the nxt admission. . . I'm not sure if it's the case now but if you have to stay over 30 days and you contact them, your service becomes free of charge until you leave.
Against - Obviously the cost. As soon as you pay for the TV your time runs even if you turn your unit off when not watching. Service, It can take forever to get through to the operator and over the last 2 years they have cut the staff (on site) so much that there is now 4 staff to work hallamshire and northern gen. at the same time. Choice of channel, You get BBC 1,2. ITV 1. CHL 4,5. You then get some but NOT all free channels. Kids films and 2 or 4 film channels depending on the package*. They don't offer what they say they do.
*Packages - 3 Hourly, I think this is £3.50 although the smallest card you can buy is for £5.
24hrs , 3 days, 5 days, 10 days, 20 days - The cost of the larger bundles depends on if you want the tv package you choose, each package offers unlimited outgoing calls to *landlines, but people phoning in to wards are charged 42p - 50p a min. They also offer free internet, I have been on several wards and am yet to find the internet to work or IF it does it can take at least 5-15 to load a single page with poor controls on the back of the TV remote. As for the free games, I had a computer in the 80s (with a tape recorder to upload them) that was quicker and better graphic's.
VALUE PK - 21 chnl's inc. 3 Film channels. You actually get 14 tv, 1 kids Films (4-5 video's on a loop chosen by Hospedia) 2 Film (again 5-6 vid's on loop chosen by Hospedia) The video's they are showing have been the same films for the last 6+ months. For 10 days this is £35
PREMIUM PK - 32 Chnl's inc. 5 film. This is actually the same as the value pk apart from an extra 2 film channels, sorry video's on loop, that again have been the same for months with maybe the odd exception. For 10 days this is £45, 20 days £65.
I'd also like to add to a couple of the comments posted earlier -
Someone mentioned about taking a phone, Ipod, Ipad or laptop etc. A lot of wards don't allow you to use these in hospital, either for disruption to equipment or because of theft's (I have been a victim of this myself).
There was also a post saying something about if your in hospital your saving money or still getting benefit while being taken care of and fed etc. I'm sorry but everytime I am in hospital I still have the same family bills etc to pay for as if I was at home, but we then have added travel/parking costs to pay. Because of my illness I am unable to work and HAVE to claim benefits but if I am in hospital for 21 days out of the month (Either continuous or broken) I loose any benefits I claim for.