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The Service which was established in 1969 initially broadcast a full twelve months of pilot programmes to Glasgow’s Foresthall Hospital (which was run by the City Council) to prove to local NHS management that a dedicated hospital radio service would be appreciated by their patients too.  

In autumn the following year, the NHS matrons finally agreed that they would allow programmes on their wards.  On Christmas Day 1970 the network service began as HBS - The Glasgow and West Hospital Broadcasting Service – initially reaching 8 of the city’s hospitals from central studios on the top floor of an office block in Argyle Street.  

During 1970 the team providing St Mirren match commentaries to Paisley’s RAI hospital asked if they could be included in the new music and entertainment radio service.  It was decided that rather than extending the Glasgow network to the South-West of the city, a separate Paisley organisation would be created. (Hospital) Radio Paisley also started broadcasting in 1970, though it subsequently closed in 1993 with provision of programmes to the then relatively new RAH (Royal Alexandra Hospital) being taken over by HBS.

Membership numbers rose throughout the seventies and eighties with at times, over a hundred active volunteers.  Additional hospital sites were also added to the network and studio facilities developed providing the service with a Training Studio, two On-Air Studios and a general purpose Recording Studio. However from the late eighties the owners of the rented accommodation failed to carry out maintenance, causing the condition of the premises to deteriorate significantly.

In February 1993 it was decided to move to more compact and more importantly watertight facilities. The transfer to Baltic Chambers was achieved without any break in programming during August 1993.

Through the nineties the Service re-established itself having lost a large number of members because of the atrocious working conditions towards the end of the time at Argyle Street.  Again membership levels rose to a peak of around one hundred despite the cramped working conditions of the restricted space available in Baltic Chambers.

The Service has only entered the competition for national Hospital Radio Station of the Year twice, on both occasions being recognised as one of the top 3 radio stations in the UK.  These successes in 2012 & 2013 are hoping to be repeated next year when the radio station expects to once again enter the competition following a few years concentrating on major project.

At the very start of 2014, the ageing equipment which had been in use in both studios for the previous 15 years was replaced with brand new digital equipment.  This equipment is a key part of the investment plans that will see the service available to patients in a number of listening formats over the coming years, including a high quality stereo internet stream that was launched on 1st June 2015.

Many of today’s well know broadcasters first got behind a microphone at HBS.  

Ken Bruce (Radio 2), George Bowie (Clyde 1), Charles Nove (BBC TV), Paul Coia (BBC London),   John Darroch (Smooth Radio), Ross King (Good Morning Britain) and Linda Sinclair (Clyde1) all took their first steps in broadcasting in our studios.


The first record request on HBS was for Kenneth McKellar singing My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose.

STV filmed the request being taken, and you can now see a clip from the news report on the Scottish Screen Archive.

Click on the picture to see the clip.