THOUSANDS of hospital patients will be able to watch the big match for free after the Health Secretary intervened in a pay-per-view row yesterday.
They faced having to fork out up to £10 to see England’s clash with Italy on NHS bedside terminals.
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Staff complained that some people would miss out on the action because they can’t afford it.
But new health supremo Sajid Javid stepped in and asked the service provider to waive the charge for the duration of the final.
Hospedia, which runs 56,000 bedside terminals at 130 hospitals, announced that patients would get free access from 8am today to 6am tomorrow – allowing patients to watch the Wimbledon and Euros final for free.
Mr Javid told The Sun on Sunday: “Everyone should be able to watch the big game.
“We have worked with this provider to ensure TV access is provided free of charge for the game. I’m delighted that patients will be able to cheer on the team as they bring it home.”
An NHS staff member, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Some of the nurses on our ward have rang and asked if they can show the match for free as a one-off but we have just had a blatant ‘no’ every time.
“I have some patients who have been here weeks, with no visitors and simply can’t afford to pay to access the TV.”
Hospedia managing director Jason Cooper said he had decided to waive the fee to celebrate England’s progress to the final.
He added: “I’m sure it’s going to be an extraordinary – but nervy – occasion.
“We hope everyone who’s in hospital tomorrow can get some joy from the big game.”