"I am trying to ring a friend in hospital but am concerned about the cost of doing so"

About: Chesterfield Royal Hospital / General medicine

(as a friend),

I am trying to ring a friend in hospital but am concerned about the cost of doing so on the media package they have on the ward.

Whilst it is generally recognized that it helps patients to keep communications with friends and family open during their stay in hospital I’m not sure how easy this is or if it is expensive. When I rang the hospital to find out about the charges they were unable to tell me, it took a while to find the department / person who would be able to give me this information. I understand there are a number of different packages all with different prices- are they easy to understand by the elderly?

People must be terrified enough about going into hospital without having to worry about the cost of telephone calls etc. The units with the TV and telephone on them are not always easy or cheap to operate – if a patient is not very IT savvy or lacks confidence is there help available for them to get them set up on these devices?

It is not immediately clear when one looks for information on websites or from helpdesks whether this kind of welfare support exists either from volunteers or from staff. If a person living alone is admitted in an emergency are there people in hospitals who would be able to take care of domestic concerns like cancelling the papers, heating etc? Also, patients may be frightened and not confident about airing their fears to doctors or consultants, is there a service in place to address this?

Perhaps all of this exists, if it does it would be great if it was consistent across all hospitals.

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