Registered Charity No 1068428

  Hospital Radio run by volunteers for the patients, staff and visitors of Halton General Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire - Registered Charity No 1068428

About Us
Past Events

Home Page

  What is hospital radio?     What songs are played?    See the Top 30 listener requests

How does it help?  smiley relaxing               EVENTS             Recent Donations - see the About Us page

When do Radio Halton broadcast?

HeadphonesYou can hear Radio Halton exclusively in Halton General Hospital 24 hours a day, as our broadcasts continue overnight thanks to our Myriad software providing a 'round the clock' schedule.  We include the news on the hour between 10am and 10pm

The hard-wired system feeds to the bedside and the speakers.  We also broadcast within the hospital via streaming on the Trust intranet, so staff in departments can access the service on their workstation computers

Currently, 10 people volunteer their time to provide the service to patients, visitors and staff

We're making more songs available on the playlist so that the same songs don't come round too often.  These are the kind of tunes we're were asked for, but didn't have, so we've put that right:

  • The Humblebums 'Shoeshine boy'

  • Dusty Springfield 'You don't own me'

  • Coldplay 'Adventure of a lifetime'

  • The Eagles 'New kid in town'
          • Nonni James 'Send in the cones' (Yes, cones... Widnes and Runcorn's current theme tune during the Mersey Gateway construction!) 

What is hospital radio? 

freephone on the wardVolunteer Rob chats to patientOur volunteers visit patients on the wards and chat with them to help them relax - find out what music they like to listen to 

In between volunteer visits, patients can use the Radio Halton freephone to request a mention or a song to help the time pass more easily

Volunteer Rob chats to a patient

Patients can settle back into bed or an easy chair and relax to favourite music through ...

headset...the bedside headset - it's all technology from more than 40 years ago - no wires involved here, just a pipe into the console on the wall with a volume knob and a channel knob - so it is literally piped music! 

  • Select channel 3 for Radio Halton

  • Select channel 2 for BBC Radio 2 (we've recently improved the sound quality on this channel)

We hope to be able to add BBC Radio Merseyside to another channel soon, depending on the radio signal reception to ensure good quality sound

There are loudspeakers in the outpatient clinic waiting areas and also in Entrance 1 - nearest the busway - to help people relax whilst sitting there

Do you know someone in hospital?  You can find the station that serves their hospital and request a song or send them a message.  Just click on the HBA logo below to go to the site of the organisation for hospital radio in the whole of the UK

HBA logoAre you interested in joining hospital broadcasting?  If so, you can find out what we need people to do on our Join page


The benefits of music in hospitalSwarb at the Brindley 09

Legendary folk musician Dave Swarbrick says, "Hospital radio is a fantastic service, with volunteers giving their time free to entertain patients with music.  When I have been in hospital, which is quite considerable, I have been very glad of it.  As a musician, you don't realise the therapeutic effect it can have until you are receiving it yourself.  Without having music and great friends around me in hospital, I would have been climbing the walls.  Keep up the good work"

Find out more here... Why do we provide music?

Russell WatsonRussell Watson also told how music helped him through illness, when chatting to Ken Bruce in Dec 2010:

"Music helps Ė during the times Iíve been really ill, Iíve listened to a lot of music and I find music incredibly therapeutic.  There were days particularly when I was having the radiotherapy treatment and when I felt really down, and itíd give me a little bit of a lift and a buzz inside"

News - Streaming

We're not currently streaming on the intranet, due to an issue with the data going through the Trust's computer in our office

We've enlisted the assistance of our fellow volunteer at Radio General, Keith Inman, who is putting together a box of tricks to resolve the issue - thanks Keith!



  • Tommy TwiggSinger Tommy Twigg came to chat with Derek Gates, ahead of his show in Castlefields on 22 August 2015.  Tommy brought with him a recording of a song called "I fell in love kinda easy", which we played

  • Derek Gates was talking to members of The Lunch Bunch, who are affected by dementia in their families and meet together inDerek with Doris and Martin of The Lunch Bunch Murdishaw Community Centre every Tuesday 

Doris and Martin, who have each lost a dear one to dementia, dropped into Derek's programme in February 2015 to explain how everyone supports each other at The Lunch Bunch.  Doris founded the club and organises trips out and other events.  Find out more here http://lunchbunchhalton.com


2016 is our 30th anniversary

All the volunteers agreed at a meeting in November 2015 that we should do something special to mark 30 years of hospital radio in Runcorn.  If you have any ideas of a special event we can arrange, please let us know.  You can find out how to get in touch on our Contact page

Awareness stall in Halton Hospital - Thursday 10 December 2015

SantaHatOur volunteers held a giveaway stall featuring prizes in time for Christmas

It was in the corridor near the front entrance of Halton Hospital ... there were even some people in red Santa hats....

We gave away some great tombola prizes and our popular Radio Halton diaries and pens.  The tombola raised £18.50 and the collection box which Derry Griffiths had contained £154.76.  This has helped us pay for our broadcast licence, which cost £174.00

Hospital Family Fun Day - Sunday 5 July 2015

EllenRadio Halton volunteers were pleased to give visitors a tour of our studio to see behind the scenes of where the music and information comes from - and have a try at presenting on air

Ellen LeBreton from Weston Point joined us to see where the music comes from

Also Kelly Gilbert and Kirsty Gilbert from Grangeway came over with their mum Lorraine Duckworth. KellyKelly sang "Ben" by Michael Jackson for us,

KirstyKirsty read out a what's on item really well

Lorraineand Lorraine chatted on air with volunteer presenter Derek Gates

Mel PickupWe were also pleased to show the Trust's Chief Executive Mel PIckup round the studio and we are grateful for her genuine interest in what we're doing to help patients

It was all part of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Family Fun Day on Sunday 5 July 2015

People had the chance to look around the operating theatre and other facilities, meet the teams and get some handy health advice from stands in the  Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre, with entertainment from Glenda Hill Theatreworks too

We want to thank everyone for joining in, and a special thanks to those who gave to our collection box, to the tune of £11.91

New Volunteers


Husband and wife team of new volunteers David and Julie Astbury started their training in October 2015 with Derek Gates on Monday evenings...
David Astbury Julie Astbury
... look out for them as they visit your ward

Change the world - or at least Halton!

Our appeal for more volunteers is called "change the world" - we've put it on this page for you to hear - click on the link, then click your back button on your browser to return here

Updated by:            The Webmistress purple spider  21 January 2016

The Webmistress is currently using KompoZer to update the site, IrfanView for image editing and WinSCP to upload the pages


Registered Charity No 1068428