Top Gongs for Hospital Radio

The Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA) held its National Hospital Radio Awards in a virtual ceremony on Monday 13th April 2020. The awards were due to take place in Bolton on the 28th March 2020 as part of the HBA’s Annual Conference weekend but the association, which represents hospital, health and wellbeing broadcasters across the UK, took the decision to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The virtual ceremony was fronted by HBA’s Sean Dunderdale and Patron, Alan Dedicoat with guest appearances from David Lloyd, Sean Goldsmith, Duncan Newmarch, Jo Russell and Paul Sylvester presenting awards for individual categories, some of which are sponsored by PPL, PRS For Music and Broadcast Radio.

The Hospital Broadcasting Association is celebrating fifty years since its inception in 1970 when it was formed out of the Federation of Yorkshire Tape Recording Clubs as the National Association of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations (NAHBO). Today, it represents 170 hospital, health and wellbeing stations across the UK and the National Hospital Radio Awards is an annual celebration, recognising some of the incredible talent and diversity amongst volunteers in a number of categories from presenting, speech and innovation.

Scooping the gold award for Station of the Year 2020 was Radio Brockley, which judges described as hospital radio of the highest quality. From royal visits to local elections, the station appears embedded in both hospital and community life. There is considered presentation by highly talented volunteers who are obviously passionate about their craft and supporting patients’ recovery.

Other stations picking up awards this year include the Hospital Broadcasting Service in Glasgow, picking up the gold award for the Best Special Event for its coverage of its ‘Hospital to Hospital Sponsored Walk’, whilst HWD Hospital Radio in Dewsbury saw off competition to receive the bronze trophy for the Best Specialist Music Programme with one of its programmes, The Rock Show.

In the individual categories, presenters including Jules Caston – Nottingham Hospitals Radio; Philippa Clarkin – BHBN (Birmingham); Hansa Varsani – Radio Harrow, collected the gold, silver and bronze titles for Best Female, respectively whilst Ross Maxwell – Grampian Hospital Radio; Rajiv Hasan – Nottingham Hospitals Radio; Joe Smith – Southend Hospital Radio triumphed in the Best Male category.

Showcasing some of the rising and previously undiscovered talent, the Best Newcomer category saw accolades for Shannon Griffin – Hospital Radio Medway; JoJo Sanderson – CHBN (Cornwall); Anandi Shah – Radio Harrow.

Meanwhile, HBA’s President, June Snowden was presented with a Special Recognition award, acknowledging her long standing service and contribution to the association and support of hospital, health and wellbeing broadcasting. HBA Chairman, Grant McNaughton presented the award to June and in a moving speech, said: “June has proved to be an outstanding ambassador to the HBA and for hospital radio over many years. The association just would not be the same without her”.

Hospital radio stations are playing a pivotal role in the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, with many stations broadcasting remotely with presenters hosting programmes from their own homes. While many patients in hospitals are not able to have visitors, hospital radio is always there to be a friend at the bedside, providing entertainment, information and relaying messages from family and friends.

If you missed the ceremony, the video presentation is available on HBA’s website to watch back at your own leisure, or you can see the full list of winners, hear their entries and read judges’ comments here.