Special radios that play prayers are now available to Sikh patients to use at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Thirty of the hand-held, pocket-sized devices with pre-enabled microchips are programmed to play a range of Sikh prayers and hymns.
They will assist with or provide daily worship at a time when patients are unable to visit their normal place of worship and might find it difficult to attend the Trust Chaplaincy sacred Spaces, or when visiting is still not permitted.
The £500 cost of the radios has been partly funded by a group of staff in Pharmacy who call themselves The Manor Sikhs, plus housekeeping leads and co-ordinated by Pharmacy Assistant Gurbaksh Bains.
New Trust Chaplain Shyam Singh said: “These devices are going to be really helpful to patients who can’t read the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the Sikh sacred scriptures) or conduct their holy Sikh prayers during the day.”
Fellow new Trust Chaplain Edd Stock said: “These are such important devices for our Sikh community and I am delighted to be able to give these out to patients who need them.”
Patient Harbit Singh, aged 80, was the first recipient of a radio. He said: “I am planning to listen to the radio for my prayers for all of my stay here. I am very grateful for everyone who has contributed towards this.”
Citations, scriptures, hymns and other religious material are available on the devices, which are available for all patients but are likely to be used by long-term patients and those receiving end-of-life care.
To access the content, patients simply tap the number of the programme they want to hear on a keypad, then plug in an earpiece to listen. The device can be charged with a charger, which, like the keypad and earpiece, is also provided. The chaplaincy spiritual care department and wards also have similar devices used to support Muslim patients, Qur’an cubes.
Ward 4 Staff Nurse Sheila Pitt welcomed the gifts.
She said: “We are very grateful for these radios and it’s a super idea to benefit Sikh patients. They will really appreciate them.”