Hospital radio continues despite challenges of pandemic

Trust AM, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ (DBTH) in-house radio station, has been continuing to deliver a high quality service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the tireless efforts of its dedicated volunteers.

The station was founded in 1972 and ever since it has been a reliable source of diverse music selections, enjoyable banter, fun quizzes and accurate news and Trust-centric updates. Operating on a 24/7 basis, the station is manned by a dependable team of hosts who make sure they never miss a show.

Lately it has been more of a challenge to uphold this commitment, on account of the Covid-19 outbreak and the associated social distancing measures. The global situation has forced Trust AM to make necessary changes to how they produce the show, including having presenters keep a suitable distance from hospital sites, in order to ensure they are being safe and responsible. Instead of broadcasting from the station in a big group, they are now producing their content remotely from the comfort of their own homes, working on a rota basis.

Taking it in turns to host the show, the volunteers are offering their usual programming to staff and patients, albeit with a few expected tweaks. For instance, a weekly feature involving the Bassetlaw Chaplaincy is now being carried out over the phone and listeners need to request songs via text or email, given that volunteers can no longer visit them on ward. Likewise, other regular segments are being delivered over the phone, whilst some are being entirely automated.

Despite these adjustments, Trust AM’s output has not slowed down one bit. This is all thanks to the amazing volunteers who devote their free time to entertaining those who are in hospital.

Speaking about this, David Purdue, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: ‘’I am so pleased that Trust AM is continuing to run during these stressful circumstances. For 48 years, they have been bringing cheer and comfort to listeners and now, more so than ever, we need just that. So on behalf of DBTH, I want to say a big ‘’thank you’’ to the team for going above and beyond what anyone would expect of them. We greatly appreciate it.’’

Meanwhile, Steve Roberts, Chairman of Trust AM, said: ‘’Colleagues in the NHS are doing such important work right now and we send them our very best wishes. Producing the radio show is our way of contributing to the hospital experience and we are delighted that we have been able to keep this up, even with everything else that is going on.’’

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