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Thread: Watching television in hospital

  1. #1
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    Default Watching television in hospital

    As I have mentioned in the Hospital thread, I went into hospital for a scheduled operation back in June 1988 - I went in on the Wednesday and came out on the Saturday, but as you would gather, the experience was obviously so surreal and different to the norm of life that I was so used to - I believe that everyone feels like that when in hospital, but I was only nine years old at the time, so routine was even more paramount. Mind you, my summer term at school ended a month earlier because of my scheduled operation, and so my summer holidays started a month before everyone else's, giving me nearly two and a half months before I went back to school (well according to the consultant, the date that the recuperating at home ended, coincided with the start of the summer holidays anyway).

    So, I was admitted to a children's ward (not very Great Ormond Street but it had to do), and it had one of those television sets on a stand - the ones that you had at school to see Look and Read and Words and Pictures on, and it provided an agreeable way of entertainment, information and education while the troops were limited to the Hoskins metal beds with some even having to use a portable tube / bottle thing because the nearest toilet might as well be a few miles down the road for the benefit of the bedridden guests.

    I do remember what I saw on television in the hospital ward while I was there - courtesy of the Times Digital Archive, looking at the old television guides from June 1988, I revisit what I had probably watched on those days whilst in Bedpan Land:

    On the Wednesday, I arrived at hospital at around 2.00 pm. I know that the Aled Jones show Chatterbox was on Children's ITV that day at 4.50 pm (a Kellogg's Frosties advert was in the ad break before it perhaps?), just before Winner Takes All (Tarby left in order to launch his Frame Game and left Geoffrey Wheeler in charge to host). Central was showing the Bionic Woman (the only ITV region to show it), and I do remember that as it was the fourth week of June, the nurses had closed the curtains while it was still light. The film Earthquake was on just before News at Ten. One of the nurses had switched the television off for the night during the film Hostage Flight which was shown on ITV after News at Ten. Very late indeed.

    On the Thursday, I saw some of the schools programmes which had recently moved to Channel 4 (as I obviously didn't want to stay behind with schooling of course) - the series Start the Day and Gather Round were two of them. I might have watched one of the pre-recorded videos as well, before they gave me the anaesthetic mid-morning in preparation for my operation at 1.00 pm. I must have woken up from the operation at around 5.00 pm as the Children's ITV programme Panic Station was on, which I thought was quite apt considering the outcome of the operation! I might have seen Top of the Pops (The Pasadenas and Tribute (Right On) was in the charts) and probably Lingo (the five letter word game) and The Bill as well.

    On the Friday, I saw that day edition of Rainbow at 11.10 am (even though I was a bit old for it even then but I didn't care back then and I still don't) - it was on an hour early because of schools programmes moving to Channel 4 and This Morning not starting until October of that year. Had fish and chips but had couldn't finish it as I was "nil by mouth" for a second operation. Through the Keyhole and the Athletics were on (in the days when it moved to Channel 4 at 9.00 pm). I do know that a repeat of the TVS Jill Gascoigne series CATS Eyes was on ITV at 9.00 pm as I was transferred from one ward to another in a wheelchair via a lift, and when I came back, that was on the television.

    On the Saturday, I didn't watch much television as I was about to be discharged. Got a taxi home, and saw Tarby's Frame Game in the evening, but a bit closer to my own bed rather an a Hoskins one.

    Does anyone remember watching television in their hospital ward while being a patient, and does anyone actually remember what programmes were on at the time? (By the way, I have not quoted this from diary entries written at the time, but from vague memories and looking at TV Guides).
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    I seem to remember when I had my tonsils out in about 1989, the hospital TV was showing the Smash Hits Poll Winners; Party presented by Phillip Schofield (which would have made it 29 October, although it usually takes place in early December).
    Last edited by davidthomas27; 06-03-2019 at 13:34.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    I was in hospital quite a few times during the 80's mostly for eye operations and would regularly watch tv in an area where lots of other patients gathered althou u didnt have a choice in what to watch .

    U just really watched what was on when you got there unless u where the only one there.

    id be pretty sure tho i saw top of the pops an odd time as it was on somewhere between 7 and 8 id think.
    FOR THE HONOUR OF GRAYSKULL

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    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    I have to admit what with the existence of hospital radio stations, its a wonder that we don't have hospital TV stations in the same way that Pontins had PTV when I stayed there a few years ago - now we only have digital television, it could be a digital station on the set.

    Thinking about it, the channel would probably be full of repeats of Casualty, The Young Doctors, Jimmy's, and Only When I Laugh I suppose...
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    Quote Originally Posted by darren View Post
    I was in hospital quite a few times during the 80's mostly for eye operations and would regularly watch tv in an area where lots of other patients gathered althou u didnt have a choice in what to watch .

    U just really watched what was on when you got there unless u where the only one there.



    id be pretty sure tho i saw top of the pops an odd time as it was on somewhere between 7 and 8 id think.

    Same here Darren I know exactly what you mean and that this is how it was! I had an Eye Operation or 2 too amongst others in the 1980s

    As you asked George, from the occasion I can recall watching TV in Hospital - the main time was in 1987 and Series 10 of Grange Hill being on and somehow I managed to talk the others there into "this is what we are watching". I am unsure what Episode it was - though could find out, though it would involve a full re-watch of Series 10 which as desirable as I'd love to do - would take for forever - given the Juganaught length of Series1 0 and my obsession with that Series in-particualr - but I can recall it was one of the Episodes involving a scene in the "side play-ground" where the Yard was and Mr Griffiths, Helen, Georgina and Ziggy invarabley had scenes with Harriett, though something is telling me more so that it involved a scene with Gonch, Hollo and Vince - if that sheds any further light

    It could of been iin March I was thinking, but now I am more tempted to say it was the October re-runs of 87, but if it was March it was a very very dull March day and it is possible it was - given GH always began in the Jan of each year for a new Series and in conjunction with that if it was mid-Series 10 as I am suspecting it was'nt the Repeat runs time of Year as I know still exactly what i was doing regards the 2nd Ghost Episode of 87 and that I had used a Video-Tape that had not had the little Hatchett thing taped over (as you did back in the day to re-record over and I recall asking my Grandad RIP - to help as I was sure what was needed but not quite 100%, but bless him that was nowhere near his Forte)

    As i may have said elsewhere on the Forum - the said Tape just rescued half of the Episode from the point onwards of Danny becoming a Marriage advize Officer to Zammo and Jackie .... but though this next part of the story is another story alone in itself and it's own-right ( Fast Forward ... pardon the pun to 1996 and only ever the 3rd ever showing of Series 10 and low and behold I was'nt at home to Tape those Episodes, but my Mum did for me and low and behold ...... what happens, the Video has an Haywire Session of it's own again ... but nothing to do with any tape over the hatchett or not (as the case can be).... but how in living can this happen twice in 9 years re;, a TV programme only ever broadcast 3 times (and then to fulfill the story) I managed to "just have" the part of the Episode up until Danny's Marital Service taped!

    I'd love to know if I am alone in such a scenario ever happening regards Taping or DVD-ing such programmes very often not shown on TV! To say I was spitting feathers at the time was no understatement - after a 9 year wait!

    80sChav

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    I was in hospital for a while about ten or so years ago and every patient had a tv above their bed .. think if cost a couple of quid a day .. I was impressed tbh


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  7. #7

    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    I work in a hospital and one of the many questions I'm asked, especially by older patients, is 'why can't you bring back the tv in the ward'.
    I'm not responsible for the tv's, and it's before my time when each ward had one tv, but from patient feedback it was much preferred than the service provided now, especially from older patients.
    Last edited by Danniella; 12-10-2019 at 08:30.

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    Default Re: Watching television in hospital

    I assume that hospitals have to pay a TV licence just like private addresses, and one also assumes that they have to charge to recoup that cost - so much for the NHS!

    I wonder whether the children's wards a la Great Ormond Street and the like have DVD players as well as TV sets? I know that the Lambley ward of Nottingham City Hospital in 1988 had a VCR - this was nearly a year before my family had one for the first time and I was so fascinated with how it worked!

    I bet it could have been the porters' job to wheel the TV from one room to another!
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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