Patientline brings in help to combat price furore

Patientline, the controversial hospital entertainment operator, has brought in agency support as it tries to stabilise the business.

The company has now turned to Blythe Weigh Communications for a consumer, financial, corporate and public affairs account that begins with the com­pany’s res­ults statements and will involve communicating the firm’s debt-restructuring plans.

Patientline hit trouble after an Ofcom enquiry looked into its deals and pricing structure in 2005.

This year the company, which offers telephone lines and television services to hospital patients, looked to restructure its debt. It had been paying around £8m a year back to its banks, ­acc­ording to reports.

But it collected a wealth of negative coverage in the aftermath of its subsequent plan, announced in June, to inc­rease the cost of outgoing telephone calls from 10p to 26p per minute.

Blythe Weigh will be charged with restoring consumer confidence in the company, which wants to position itself as ­‘friendly’, said agency co-foun­der Tim Blythe.

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