Trustees' Report and Annual Review 2009

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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 2009.

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.


WHR is run entirely by a membership of volunteers, who are not eligible for reimbursement of any out-of-pocket expenses. It is an unincorporated association governed by a constitution (which was amended in November 2009, having been 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 national conferences and training events organised by the HBA and the Regional Meetings hosted by various hospital radio stations in southern England. WHR is also a member of the national volunteering support organisations, Volunteering England and NCVO.

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

Review of Activities and Achievements

Programming and Ward Visiting

During 2009, 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.

The “Sound Remedy” programme format requires a team of volunteers who, in addition to presenting the programme, visit patients on the wards and, whenever possible, broadcast the first hour of the programme from one of the wards. Due to insufficient trained volunteers, the “Sound Remedy” has continued to be the only regular live programme to be broadcast. Additional programmes were, however, broadcast on Bank Holidays, to celebrate WHR's 25th birthday and throughout the Christmas and New Year period. The first hour of our "Sound Remedy" programme on Christmas eve was rebroadcast across Winchester by Play Radio, allowing those outside the hospital to hear our programming live from the wards.

The way in which patients actively take part in the “Sound Remedy”, either by talking to presenters who are by their bedside, or by using the Patientline telephone system to call the studio, making requests for music and/or taking part in the “Brain Tickler” quiz, proves that our service is very well received. Patients regularly take the time to leave a message on our answerphone before being discharged from hospital, thanking us for keeping them entertained.

25th Birthday Celebrations

2009 marked our 25th year of service at the RHCH.  To celebrate the occasion, the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Dominic Hiscock, hosted a civic reception at Abbey House and the NHS Trust hosted a thank-you party for our volunteers.  At the latter event, the Chairman of the NHS Trust, Mike Gretton, thanked our team for the service over the last quarter of a century.  Our reporter, Mary Stanley, mingled with volunteers and got them to share their fondest recollections of WHR, which were later broadcast as part of a day of special programmes.

Behind-the-Scenes Support

Due to both members of our Engineering team having regular work commitments away from home, they have been unable to dedicate as much time to supporting WHR as in previous years. Despite this, an upgraded version of the "Myriad" music and programme playout software has been purchased and is in the final stages of configuration and testing.  It is hoped that, during the first half of 2010, this will replace the original version purchased in 2005.

Strategic Planning

Studio Location and Service Provision

Like many other NHS hospitals, the RHCH has faces an uncertain future. The plan that the senior management team had produced for the future of the hospital (which involves it providing largely the same services as now, but from a site significantly reduced in size) have been thrown into doubt by the current economic situation.

The trustees have been in regular contact with the NHS Trust management over the relocation of our studio facilities that will be required under the NHS Trust's plans and have been assured that suitable facilities will be made available when the redevelopment is able to progress.

A more immediate studio relocation now appears inevitable, because of the lack of integrity of the building roof above the Orthodontics Dept. At the time of writing, the Orthodontics Dept. have been moved out of the building and additional restrictions have been imposed on WHR volunteers entering the building to minimise any risk in case of fire. The Estates Dept. are urgently undertaking a Health and Safety review to determine whether WHR can remain in its current location until a move to another permanent location within the hospital can be arranged, or whether a move into temporary accommodation is necessary.

During the year, the Trustees have invested a significant amount of time in considering the short-, medium-, and long-term plans for the organisation and the services it provides. At the time of writing, the 5-year plan is being updated to reflect these discussions ahead of being presented to the membership during 2010.

One major facet of the plans is to increase the number of potential listeners to WHR by serving other local healthcare facilities. The Trustees, therefore, were quick to avail themselves of a potential opportunity for WHR to serve patients at the Andover War Memorial Hospital, a small community hospital which is also run by the Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust. This hospital, with around 40 in-patient beds has no current bedside radio system but, during redevelopment of the Minor Injuries Unit, the central unit of an old bedside radio system was located and found to be in need of only minor repairs. The Trustees are currently in active discussions with the NHS Trust to see if it would be possible for funds to be found to re-instate the bedside radio system in Andover, and to utilise the NHS Trust's IT infrastructure to relay WHR's service from Winchester to Andover. An application has also been made to the Charity Commission for permission to amend WHR's charitable object to allow it to serve the Andover War Memorial Hospital (and other healthcare facilities in the areas surrounding the city of Winchester).

Financial Performance

At the end of 2009, WHR had funds totalling just over 46,000, having raised 14,798 and spent 8,885 during the year.


2009 was an excellent year as far as income was concerned. 8,328 net income was due to fundraising activities, primarily from selling CDs produced through the efforts and hard work of our volunteer Steven Wills and released on WHR's own record label. A pressing of a further 500 copies of "Watch With Teacher" first released in 2008, together with an overwhelming interest in a revised double-CD version of "Girl in a Suitcase", first released in 2001, resulted in net profits from the production of CDs of almost 6,500. Steven's employer, Barclays Bank, match-fund specific fundraising efforts by their staff, and WHR has benefited to the tune of 653 during 2009.

The gross income from CD sales (9,738) exceeds the 5,000 threshold of the statutory exemption from tax for small-scale trading by a charity with the level of WHR's annual income. The Trustees claim that WHR's trading profits are still exempt as, at the start of the year, they did not expect the income to exceed the threshold. This expectation was based on the gross income during the previous five years, and the plans for sales in 2009; they budgeted for it to be only 4,000.

To coincide with WHR's 25th birthday, a new edition of the "Sound Remedy" patients' magazine was produced. Publication was switched to Heartbeat Publications, following the failure of the previous publisher, Hospital Radio Publications to agree to sign an appropriate written agreement. Heartbeat Publications provided WHR with 3000 magazines free-of-charge, and a donation of just over 1,300 (that sum being 10% of the gross revenue from advertising in the magazine).

The annual "road show" outside broadcast and collection day at Sainsbury's supermarket at Badger Farm netted 466. This is significantly higher than in 2008 (363) when the store had only just re-opened after a re-fit, but still much lower than in previous years, perhaps because of the effects of the "credit crunch".

The global financial situation also significantly affected the investment income WHR received on its reserves. The 897 received in 2009 is less than half the 1,995 received in 2008.

Thanks to our new Fundraising Manager, Hayley Strange, WHR had a stall at a Christmas Fayre organised by Winchester Area Community Action. The venue was not very busy, so consequently income amounted only to 71. Despite this, our stall generated a lot of interest and we were able to sell a number of festive and home-made craft items that had been kindly donated to us.

The Trustees would like to thank volunteer James Luff for his generous donation of 400, which will effectively increase to over 500 once Gift Aid is reclaimed from HM Revenue and Customs in 2010. Thanks also go to Leckford Estates for the donation of 100, and to all other donors.


A tight control has been maintained on general expenditure during 2009.

The most significant expenditure (2,523) has been the purchase of an upgraded version of the "Myriad" music and programme playout software, which allows WHR to broadcast programmes 24 hours a day.

The reduced cost of stationery and office consumables is simply due to the timing of purchase of paper and printer toner; these tend to be purchased in bulk, and purchases were made in late 2008 reducing the expenditure incurred in 2009.

Legal advice was sought regarding the charity's responsibilities and potential liabilities following a volunteer's defamation claim against a third party. The matter has subsequently been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties without any liability attaching to WHR.

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.) in the immediate short-term future is highly likely. 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, however, with a studio move likely in the short term, the reserves are currently held in deposit accounts, allowing rapid access if necessary.

Major Risks

At the time of writing, there is a small possibility that the NHS Trust will not provide alternative accommodation to WHR when it decommissions the building in which our studios are currently situated. The Trustees are in detailed discussions with the NHS Trust regarding the relocation and the necessary health & safety-related restrictions that it is necessary to work under in the current building, and believe that, whilst any new facilities available to WHR will likely be smaller than our current facilities, and there is a real possibility that a short-term move to a temporary location within the hospital is necessary it is unlikely that no accommodation will be available.

WHR's service is distributed to patients by the bedside entertainment system run by Hospedia Ltd. This company purchased the UK operations of the former Patientline plc, which had a chequered financial history. The Trustees consider that, whilst the risk of Hospedia being forced into liquidation is less than that of its predecessor, it is still a real possibility. This would mean that WHR would be unable to 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 NHS Trust regarding their contingency plans to cover this eventuality. We understand that the NHS Trust management believe that it is important that a bedside entertainment system is available at the RHCH, and that they have the option to purchase the Hospedia equipment installed at the RHCH if Hospedia are unable or unwilling to provide a service.

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 Ian Kemp
Programme Controller Anna O'Brien
Fundraising Manager Ian Kemp (acting)(until 15 June 2009)
  Hayley Strange (from 15 June 2009)
Chief Engineer Paul Blitz

Charity Number


Principal Address

Mailpoint MP66
Royal Hampshire County Hospital
Romsey Road
SO22 5DG


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

Independent Examiner

J. A. Poulter FCA CTA
Rothman Pantall LLP
Avebury House
6 St. Peter Street
SO23 8BN

Signed on behalf of the Trustees,

Tony Knight's signatureSteve Feeney's signature
Tony Knight
18th March 2010
Steve Feeney
18th March 2010

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