Grateful Hospital Radio Hastings volunteers laid on a PowerPoint presentation for officers of the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital.
The radio team explained on-screen last Thursday how a £1,000 gift from the Bexhill charity will help them bring their voluntarily-run service for hospital patients and their families into the digital age.
More than 40 volunteers work to maintain the existing 24-7 music and entertainment service from a studio at the Conquest Hospital.
The service plans to celebrate its 40th anniversary by going over to internet broadcasting this summer.
Keith Crispin, who is leading the change, explained that of the 210 registered hospital radio stations in the country, 20 have already adopted internet broadcasting.
Internet broadcasting technology is making it possible to reach patients in their homes both before going into hospital and after their discharge via computers, tablets and iPads. Since many bring their IT devices into hospital as patients the way is clear for a whole new approach to the service.
Keith explained: “At the moment we can only reach patients when they are in the Conquest.”
The extended new service is seen as a key tool in keeping the public informed. The potential “audience” across the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust area is put at 400,000 people and development of the service is leading to closer liaison between hospital radio and the Trust.
Outlay in the first year is put at £2,000, including the cost of computer equipment and licences.
The public will be able to make contact with the hospital radio via website link.
The volunteers hope to have the new system substantially in place by the time of their annual meeting in March and to launch it in the summer ahead of their ruby anniversary in the autumn.
Media and IT studies students from Brighton University’s Hastings campus are being encouraged to take part in the process as part of their practical work.
Previously, a land-line link brought hospital radio services to patients at the Irvine Unit at Bexhill Hospital. Now the volunteers plan to work with Trust staff at Bexhill in introducing the new internet broadcasting service.
Hospital radio chairman Wendy Butler said: “Hospital Radio Hastings would like to thank the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital for their greatly-appreciated donation which will help drive forward our exciting new venture. The donation will be used for new computer equipment to support our internet broadcasting from the summer of 2015.”
Darren Grayson, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital are extremely generous in donating this money to Hospital Radio Hastings. Hospital Radio’s plans to move into internet broadcasting is an exciting new development which will open up their valuable service to a far wider audience.”
After, league chairman Cllr Stuart Earl had presented Wendy Butler with the £1,000 cheque, light refreshments were served for the visitors who included league treasurer and webmaster Chris Ashford, secretary Ann Dowling and president John Dowling.