Inside the new House of Commons, with its many freshly elected MPs, Pipedown hopes to get a Private Member’s Bill to ban piped music and television in hospitals. Such a bill is needed to save the sanity of people suffering inescapable piped music/television in hospitals and health centres. (See the booklet Whose Choice is it Anyway? 2012, for details of their torments. Copies available as pdfs from Pipedown). Unlike in shops, hotels, restaurants etc, people seldom have a real choice when it comes to being in hospital. They are also often at their most vulnerable. Recognising these special factors, two men have already attempted to introduce bills: Robert Key, then MP for Salisbury, in the House of Commons and Tim Beaumont in the House of Lords. Neither succeeded but they pioneered the idea that piped music is an issue on which legislation is needed.
Yet it remains that an idea ministers and civil servants are unhappy to accept. Such official reluctance does not mean that all MPs are indifferent or hostile to the concept – they may well be as enthusiastic as Robert Key was. MPs have no way of knowing what concerns their constituents unless they are told, so it is up to everyone annoyed by piped music to let their MP know, whether or not they are members of Pipedown.
Write or email your MPs, suggesting they support – or even better, propose – a Private Member’s Bill to ban piped music and television which, blaring away nonstop, can turn any ward into acoustic hell. Patients who wish to listen to television or their own choice of music, as many do, could still do so through headphones, so they would not suffer.
When enough MPs have been alerted, and their responses collated (and sent on to Pipedown), we aim to to start intensive lobbying inside the Palace of Westminster itself.
Watch this space for developments!
And in the meantime write to your MP, whether newly elected or not.