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NHS Amateur (HAM) Radio Station

NHS Amateur (HAM) Radio Station

GB1NHS is the National Health Service Amateur Radio Station. The station was founded by Paul Devlin G1SMP from NHS Improvement’s Emergency Care Intensive Support Team (ECIST). The station was licensed by Ofcom on 5th April 2018.

The aim of the station is to promote, through the medium of amateur radio, NHS initiatives that lead to patients receiving excellent care, faster recovery and living longer healthier lives.

Amateur radio, sometimes known as ham radio, is both a hobby and a service that uses various types of radio equipment, allowing communication with other radio amateurs for the purpose of experimentation, development of radio communications, self-training, recreation and public service.

The term amateur is used to differentiate it from commercial radio and emergency services.

Amateur radio operators are authorised to use dedicated broadcast bands. This is internationally governed and controlled. They are issued with a licence to operate by Ofcom following successful completion of a nationally regulated practical and theoretical examination. This licence contains a call sign which is used by the operator when broadcasting in order to identify and legitimise the amateur radio station.

The platform has a vast scope of communication capability. This ranges from two people in the same town transmitting across a small distance through to worldwide communication. Some of the more specialised aspects of the hobby include the use of satellites and communication with the international space station. The people involved in the hobby are as diverse as the technology. It includes people from all socioeconomic groups and backgrounds.

Amateur radio is routinely used to promote significant events and initiates that are in the public interest. Radio operators set up special event stations and broadcast across the amateur radio spectrum nationally and internationally to raise awareness.

Part of this process includes applying for a special event call sign from Ofcom that signifies the uniqueness of the event to all amateur radio operators.

The aim of a special event station is to make contact with as many amateur radio operators as possible during a specified period of time.

Each radio operator who makes contact receives a postcard. This contains the event logo and call sign in order to commemorate the event, similar to the one opposite which was used for the air ambulance week.

Amateur radio has a significant role to play in helping the NHS to spread key messages and create social movements nationally and internationally.

Introduciton to amateur radio

Getting started in amateur radio

Paul Devlin
NHS Improvement – Emergency Care Intensive Support Team

Essex Ham NHS strategic delivery partner for GB1NHS @GB1NHS Radio Society of Great Britain