League of Friends Retire from Hospital Café and Shop

The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is building a new outpatients department at NDDH which will open in 2009. In addition, the Trust is drawing up plans for a new Emergency Hub which will also be accessed from the main foyer at NDDH. These developments will result in longer working hours and more flexible services for patients. The refreshment and retail facilities need to support these developments.

The foyer needs to be redesigned to make room for the new departments and the facilities need to be upgraded. The four proposed options for the foyer have been on display at NDDH since November and patients, staff and visitors are encouraged to record their views on questionnaires.

The Trust has involved the League in all the planning stages and wrote to the Chair to notify them that the Trust Board sought to tender a contract for the café bar. This letter encouraged the League to put forward a bid and the Trust altered the procurement process to make it easier for the League to submit a tender.

The League’s response on 4.12.08 was to notify the Trust of their intention to cease activities at the café bar and shop on 31 December 2008. However the League hopes to continue “as a registered charity and will, as in the past, be financially supportive of projects and equipment to the benefit of patients.” The Trust accepts the League’s decision and would like to convey its enormous gratitude for the time, effort, support and tireless fundraising by the League over the many years they have worked with the Trust.

Patients, visitors and staff have benefited greatly from the contributions from the League in terms of events, equipment and facilities. The League has donated £547,000 between 2001 to 2008 to the Trust. Some of the highlights of the last few years include:

  • £27,000 for the gynae theatre
  • £56,000 to the endoscopy suite
  • £47,500 for ophthalmology equipment
  • £23,000 for diagnostic equipment
  • £34,000 for an ultrasound scanner

The Trust recognises the importance of the café and the shop aims to ensure that there is no disruption to the availability of refreshments and shop goods over the New Year. It has asked Sodexo to temporarily take over the running of the shop and the café bar from 1 January 2009 whilst the tender process progresses.

Brian Sherwin, Chair of the Trust said, “The League of Friends has provided tremendous support to the Trust and we value their contributions. Running a shop and co-ordinating volunteers are demanding tasks and we appreciate all the effort it has taken to provide this service for so many years. We hope to work with the League to identify equally effective ways that the team can help us improve the services and experiences for patients of this Trust and we look forward to continuing to work with them in future.”

The Trust will use the intervening time to talk to staff, patients and visitors to ask for comments about what facilities would be useful in a shop. This way, the Trust can ensure that the foyer outlets provide patients, staff and visitors with facilities which they need and want.

Posted in News.

Last updated: March 6, 2018