Funding bid for hospital televisions

A former paediatric nurse from Shaftesbury is planning to raise funds for televisions for patients to enjoy on the Farley Ward at Salisbury District Hospital.

Alison Harding has asthma along with a rare condition which leaves her often needing hospitalisation in the former Pembroke Unit, now known as the Farley Ward, which is the Respiratory Care Unit. The conditions mean Alison has recently taken medical retirement as a paediatric nurse, where she worked at Salisbury Hospital before nursing sick children in the community for the last four years.

Following a recent week- long stay in the Farley Ward, Alison said: “I’m a regular respiratory patient at Salisbury, and was shocked by the lack of televisions. Usually you will find television sets over the bed, which are free until 12 noon and the radio is free all day. But I was in a cubicle with no television, radio and had poor internet service and no mobile phone reception.”

“Coronavirus restrictions mean visiting hours are reduced to one hour with visitors wearing PPE. The newspaper and refreshment trolleys, which might perk up your day, have understandably ceased at this time. To be honest I was too poorly to concentrate on television, listen to a radio or have visitors, but had I felt not quite as ill, I may have become quite restless – there’s only so much colouring you can do in a day.”

“This is the old Pembroke out-patients unit and there are lots of cubicles but no entertainment. Some patients with dementia or additional needs may settle better with the soothing sound of the radio or a picture to watch. Televisions or radios might stop the loneliness and make the day to go quicker. As I understand it there have never been televisions on this ward and I believe patients do need some form of entertainment.”

Alison is determined to support patients on the Farley Ward, and so she has set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds at

Salisbury Foundation NHS Trust spokesman said: “We’re very sorry to hear of this patient’s experience. It’s important to us that we make our patients stay in hospital as comfortable as possible and most of our hospital beds have a bedside TV, radio and telephone, which are provided and managed through an external supplier. Although there are a few bays and rooms in the area where this patient was cared for where the facility is not provided, the Trust is developing new plans to improve TV and Wi-Fi provision across the site to ensure we provide the best possible experience for all our patients.”

“We are very appreciative of any fundraising activity to support the hospital but due to arrangements with our supplier and licence agreements, we are unable to accept individual gifts of televisions onto the wards. Our patient wifi is funded through generous donations to the Stars Appeal and we would very much welcome any additional funding in support of this service.”

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