Chapel services beamed to bedsides

A SUFFOLK hospital is the first in the country to beam its chapel services live to patients' bedsides.Two cameras in West Suffolk Hospital's chapel will allow patients to watch the regular services live on their bedside televisions' free channel.

A SUFFOLK hospital is the first in the country to beam its chapel services live to patients' bedsides.

Two cameras in West Suffolk Hospital's chapel will allow patients to watch the regular services live on their bedside televisions' free channel.

The first service shown live was to be yesterday's popular hospital carol service.

The Rev David Crawley, the hospital's chaplain, said: “This will be an incredibly innovative way to ensure that all our patients who want to be included in chapel services while they are in hospital are able to do so.

“Many of our patients attend services regularly at home and they find it of great comfort.

“This will allow patients to take part in the service when they are in hospital, even if they are too ill to leave the ward and come to the chapel. This is truly marvellous.”

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Steve Moore, director of facilities at the hospital, said: “The chapel services can be heard already on our hospital radio station so we thought, 'Why not go one step further and have them live on bedside TVs?”

The project to beam the chapel services cost £2,070, half of which was met by Premier Telesolutions and half from a donation by the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital and other charitable funds.

It is linked to a larger project to install state-of-the-art, touch-screen patient bedside entertainment and communication systems.

All installation and operating costs of the entertainment and communication systems are being met by Premier Telesolutions.

Around half of all wards have the systems installed and the project should be completed by spring next year.

Patients will be able to pay for access to 15 channels on their personal televisions, have free radio - including hospital radio - and their own personal telephone and answering service.

There will also be a free television channel, two free children's channels and free hospital information channels.

Services, such as movies, audio books, the internet and games, will be available in the future.

Will you be using the new service to watch the chapel services? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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