LETTER: Volunteers need an explanation

It is understood that the volunteers shop and ward trolley service, presently run be The Friends of St Richard's Hospital for the benefit of patients and visitors, is to be put out to tender and the shop relocated from its convenient site at the hospital entrance but no further information is available.

To the hundreds of volunteers who willingly devote a considerable

amount of their time to this worthy and well managed enterprise, this has occasioned much dismay and we believe that we are entitled to an explanation for this extremely retrograde action.

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We offer a seven-day weekly service and every single penny of profit has gone into the provision of essential hospital equipment to the tune of £300,000 annually over these past 40 years. One cannot see any High Street shop or other commercial concern providing the same measure of support under any other proposed franchise..

What on earth is the reason for all this unwarranted change? Profit margins? Efficiency savings?

We have the right to know. Health issues are quite correctly a matter of confidentiality but how the Hospital Trust deals with the administration of its volunteer force is certainly not and it merits a public airing. All this smacks of ingratitude and we are disappointed after so many years of loyalty to be rewarded in such a shabby fashion. Perhaps the Trust might like to observe the time honoured adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’!

Michael Sizeland

Orchard Street