Patients in six hospitals across Scotland are to receive free bedside television for the next three months in an effort to combat loneliness during the pandemic.

There are about 3,400 bedside units that can use Hospedia televisions across the six hospitals, which can cost a patient as much as £7.90 per day.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon aims to recruit 'army' of NHS volunteers

With restrictions in place for visiting patients in hospital due to the virus, the Scottish Government has agreed a package with broadcast provider Hospedia to give free TV to all in-patients.

The hospitals covered by Hospedia include Monklands, Airdrie; Raigmore,Inverness; University Hospital Ayr; Aberdeen Royal Infirmary; Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Crosshouse, Kilmarnock.

All other hospitals in Scotland will continue to have existing television services provided by the local health board free. 

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the move was made to focus on patient wellbeing at a time when they cannot have visitors.

She said: “We know being in hospital can be a lonely time, and even more so when your visitors are significantly restricted.

READ MORE: Six month warning before 'normal life resumes'

“Doing what we can to limit the spread of Covid-19 is the right thing to do, but we also need to make sure we’re taking care of the wellbeing of our hospital patients wherever we can.

“That is why for a temporary period of three months, we are covering the cost of providing bedside television to every hospital in-patient.”