Trustees' Report and Annual Review 2006

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Trustees' Report

The Trustees of Winchester Hospitals Radio are pleased to submit their report and accounts for the year 1st January to 31st December 2006.

Winchester Hospitals Radio (also known as "Winchester Hospital Radio", "WHR", and our on-air identity "Winchester Radio") is a registered charity, governed by a constitution.

This Report and the attached Accounts have been produced in accordance with the guidance provided by the Charity Commission in its "Receipts and Payments Accounts Pack (CC16)".

Charitable Objects

The object of the Association is relieving sickness, infirmity and old age by providing a local broadcasting service for hospitals, old peoples' homes and similar institutions in Winchester. The station currently serves the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) via the Patientline bedside entertainment system.

Organisation

WHR is run entirely by a membership of volunteers, who pay an annual membership subscription and are not eligible for reimbursement of any out-of-pocket expenses. It is an unincorporated association governed by a constitution (last amended in November 2002) and managed by an Executive Committee (the Charity Trustees) who are elected annually by the membership.

Related Organisations

WHR is a member of the Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA), the national charity that supports and promotes hospital broadcasting in the UK. Our members regularly attend the twice-yearly conferences organised by the HBA and the Regional Meetings hosted by various hospital radio stations in southern England.

WHR maintains a close working relationship with the Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust (who manage the RHCH) and Patientline plc, the company that owns and runs the bedside entertainment system through which its programmes are delivered to patients.

Review of Activities and Achievements

Below is a brief summary of WHR's activities and achievements during 2006. Further information can be found in the informal "Annual Review", which starts on page 6.

Programming and Ward Visiting

During 2006, WHR continued to provide a radio service to the patients at the RHCH. The flagship programme is "The Sound Remedy", a nightly programme made up of music requests collected from patients by our volunteers. Whenever WHR is not broadcasting live programmes, a music jukebox service broadcasts a carefully chosen selection of easy listening music.

In line with the 5-Year Plan adopted by the Trustees at the beginning of 2004, a significant change to the programming and ward visiting was made in October 2005. The "Sound Remedy" programme length was increased from 90 minutes to two hours, with the first hour broadcast live from one of the wards most nights of the week. The frequency of ward visits was increased to three visits per week for most wards to coincide with the programming changes.

The new programme format requires a team of volunteers who, in addition to presenting the programme, visit patients on the wards. To concentrate our volunteers' efforts on producing two hours of engaging, request-driven programming, the majority of other live programming was withdrawn.

Although the overall number of live broadcast hours per week was reduced, the changes have had many positive benefits. The average number of music requests played during the "Sound Remedy" has significantly increased. Many patients actively take part in the programming, either by talking to presenters who are by their bedside, or by using the Patientline telephone system to call the studio. WHR has a much higher profile within the hospital, and the listening figures made available to us by Patientline show that WHR is now by far the most listened-to radio station within the hospital.

Unfortunately, a number of our volunteers decided that they did not wish to be involved with the new-style programmes. This has meant that the workload of others has increased to compensate, and this has had a knock-on effect on activities such as recruitment and training, the repair of studio equipment and the planned upgrading of the music library and computer playout system, as priority has been given to the programming and visiting. Mid-way through 2006, the decision was reluctantly taken to withdraw all programmes except "The Sound Remedy" as it was clear that our remaining volunteers were being pushed too hard.

At the time of writing this report, the benefits of the short-term reduction in live programme output are becoming visible. For example:

         Training and induction of new volunteers has increased resulting in several new volunteers taking their place in the nightly programming teams whilst others have passed auditions to present programmes and/or operate the studio equipment during live broadcasts.

         Our Engineering team have commenced the configuration of an upgraded computer network that will include an updated music playout system, audio editing facilities and office computers.

         A small team of volunteers are reviewing the mix of music stored on our playout system to ensure a close match with the tracks and artists most-often requested by our listeners.

It is hoped that these benefits will continue throughout 2007, resulting in a larger team of fully-trained volunteers able to provide an enhanced service to patients.

Awards

The quality of our programmes was recognised in the 2005 National Hospital Radio Awards. At the ceremony in April, an excerpt from one of our "Person to Person" programmes was commended as one of the top ten in the country by the judges. Leona Jones's entry for Presenter of the Year was similarly commended.

WHR's 2004 Annual Report and Accounts were also singled out for praise in the Charities Online Accounts Awards run by the Charities Aid Foundation and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The Report and Accounts were judged best in the country in the category for charities with an income under 100,000 per annum.

Strategic Planning

Studio Location and Service Provision

Like many other NHS hospitals, the RHCH faces an uncertain future. The NHS Trust is currently reviewing its utilisation of the various parts of the site, with consolidation of services into the core of the site a distinct possibility. The number of in-patient beds has also reduced by around 50 over the last year, and is likely to reduce further.

In the middle of the year, the Trustees were informally alerted by the Chair of the Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust that WHR's current studio location was potentially at risk and a move to alternative facilities in the main hospital building may be necessary in the short- to medium-term.

To counter the reduction of audience caused by the smaller number of in-patient beds, the Trustees are considering two possible extensions to our service:

         providing a service to out-patients' and Accident & Emergency waiting rooms; and

         providing a service to local elderly care homes.

At the time of writing, at the NHS Trust's request, the Trustees have just submitted a document detailing WHR's requirements of any new studio location and providing an outline of the style of service that could be provided to waiting rooms within the hospital.

The evaluation of the practicalities of providing a service to elderly care homes has been given a lower priority at this time.

Once the Trustees have visibility of the NHS Trust's plans for the hospital, they intend to revise the 5-Year Plan which they originally adopted in January 2004. This document sets out the Trustees' vision for the development of WHR and the services it provides to the patients of the RHCH.

Recruitment and training of volunteers

The Trustees' aim is to build upon the success of the new programming and visiting schedules, to recruit, induct and train more members to reduce the workload on our existing volunteers, and to work towards utilising our upgraded computer playout system to full effect by introducing a full range of programmes aimed specifically at the hospital audience.

Financial Performance

At the end of 2006, WHR had funds totalling just over 30,000, having raised 9,566 and spent 7,774 during the year.

Income

2006 was another good year as far as fundraising was concerned, especially as the number of active volunteers was significantly reduced compared with 2005. Net funds raised, at just over 4,300 was virtually identical to 2005.

In association with Hospital Radio Publications (HRP), WHR published the latest edition of its patients' magazine in November 2005. This is produced free-of-charge by HRP, who sell advertising space in the magazine to cover their costs. WHR received a donation of 1,700 from HRP (equivalent of to 10% of the advertising sales) early in 2006.

Special mention must go, once again, to Steven Wills. During 2006, WHR made a net surplus of 1,508 (2005: 1,402) from selling CDs produced by Steven and released on WHR's own record label. Steven's employer, Barclays Bank, match-fund specific fundraising efforts by their staff, and WHR has benefited to the tune of 551 during 2006. Finally, WHR received 329 from sales of previous CDs that Steven had released on his own "Codename Music" label in aid of WHR.

Thanks are also due to Barrie Duesbury, who completed a sponsored tandem skydive in aid of WHR. This raised 263, with a further amount in Gift Aid due from HM Revenue & Customs in 2007.

The income from fundraising events was significantly reduced compared with 2005. This was due in large part to a conscious decision by the Trustees not to demand too much from the smaller number of active volunteers. With the income mentioned above and the current level of reserves, it was felt more important to concentrate volunteer effort on our service provision rather than on fundraising.

The annual "road show" outside broadcast and collection day at Sainsbury's supermarket at Badger Farm brought in 578, virtually the same as last year. Unfortunately, the annual Supper Quiz resulted in a net income of only 355. We were invited to attend the Andover Spring Vehicle Meet & Autojumble, but this did not prove to be worthwhile, as we raised only 39.

Interest on the reserves was almost double that received in 2005. This is due to a number of factors – higher interest rates, higher reserves and maturity dates of the investment bonds.

Expenditure

The main expenditure in 2006 has been 4,750 on new computers and software to replace the existing music playout system, which is five years old, and various audio editing and office computers which are even older. A further expenditure of approximately 1,500 will be necessary in 2007 to complete the upgrade.

A tight control has been maintained on general expenditure during 2006.

With available volunteer effort focussed on programming, only essential repairs to equipment have been made. The one significant expense has been the replacement of the air conditioning unit that cools the computer servers and music playout system.

Only 35 has been spent on music CDs this year. WHR has been fortunate to receive a number of donated CDs, which has significantly reduced the need to purchase music. WHR has a music licensing agreement with copyright-collecting society Phonographic Performances Ltd. This costs just under 150 per year (and is included in the "Licence Fees" line under "Station Administration Expenses")and allows WHR to hold music on its computer playout system without holding a physical copy. We hope to utilise this new right to copy appropriate music from our volunteers' music collections, keeping expenditure on CDs to a minimum.

Financial Management and Reserves Policies

WHR has a Financial Management Policy which defines the controls to be implemented to ensure that the Association’s assets are secure. This policy meets all the requirements of the Charities Act 1993 and the Charity Commission guidelines "Internal Financial Controls for Charities (CC8)".

The Association has been slowly building up a reserve for an inevitable move of studios at some point in the future. As noted under "Strategic Planning" above, it appears that a move from our current studios (in a time-expired wooden building alongside the Orthodontics Dept.) is likely to happen in the short- to medium-term. The move to the present site from St. Paul's Hospital, in 1992, cost WHR approximately 50,000. A future move is likely to cost significantly more than this.

Reserves are held in fixed-term bonds so as to give a good rate of return without any exposure to the stock market.

Major Risks

WHR's service is distributed to patients by the bedside entertainment system run by Patientline plc. This company, along with the other providers of bedside entertainment systems to the NHS, is currently in discussion with the Department of Health with regards to the viability of their business models following an earlier Ofcom investigation into the high cost of incoming telephone calls to patients.

Patientline are reported to have given notice to the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust of their intention to withdraw their service from the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.

Given the above facts and the reducing number of inpatient beds at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, the Trustees consider that there is a real risk that Patientline may withdraw service at the RHCH. This would mean that WHR would be unable deliver its service to patients until a replacement system was in place. There are a number of alternative technologies that could be deployed to distribute our service to patients, but they would all take a number of months to install and cost a significant amount of money.

The Trustees have contacted the hospital's Estates Manager to ascertain the length of notice Patientline have to provide should they decide to withdraw from the RHCH and to enquire as to what contingency plans, if any, the hospital has in place to cover this eventuality.

The Trustees are monitoring developments closely and intend to move quickly to put in place appropriate contingency plans once the situation is clearer.

Charity Trustees

Chairman Tony Knight
Vice-Chairman Steve Feeney
Treasurer Nigel Dallard
Station Manager Anna O'Brien
Programme Controller Paul Blitz (acting)(until 19 March 2006)
  Paul Blitz (from 19 March 2006)
Fundraising Manager Ian Kemp
Chief Engineer Paul Blitz (until 19 March 2006)
  Paul Blitz (acting)(from 19 March 2006)

Charity Number

290553

Principal Address

Mailpoint MP66
Royal Hampshire County Hospital
Romsey Road
Winchester
Hampshire
SO22 5DG

Bankers

National Westminster Bank plc
Winchester Old Bank
105 High Street
Winchester
Hampshire
SO23 9AW
Standard Life Bank Ltd
Caledonian Exchange
19A Canning Street
Edinburgh
EH3 8EG

Independent Examiner

J. A. Poulter FCA ATII
Rothman Pantall and Co.
Avebury House
6 St. Peter Street
Winchester
Hampshire
SO23 8BN

Signed on behalf of the Trustees,

Tony Knight's signatureSteve Feeney's signature
Tony Knight
Chairman
19 March 2007
Steve Feeney
Vice-Chairman
19 March 2007

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