Friends ‘very positive’ about new hospital facility

An artist's impression of the new combined shop and cafe
An artist's impression of the new combined shop and cafe

The Friends of Worthing Hospital are ‘very positive’ about their move to a new facility at the hospital, which is currently being built.

The Friends’ shop in the front foyer, where they have been based for the last three years, closed its doors on Thursday to make way for Costa Coffee and convenience retailer Amigo.

People will support the Friends because of all we do for the hospital and the community

Ron Noakes, chairman of the Friends of Worthing Hospital

Work is underway on a new combined shop and café for the Friends, which is expected to open in several weeks’ time. It will be located in the hospital’s north end, extending upon the tea bar which was previously there.

Ron Noakes, chairman of the Friends of Worthing Hospital, said: “I’m very positive about what’s going to happen.

“I think the new shop will be a big asset to us and the local community.”

He is confident the shop, which will be slightly smaller than the one in the front foyer, will continue to attract customers.

“People will support the Friends because of all we do for the hospital and the community,” he said, adding that more ward visits would also be carried out.

In the meantime, the Friends have opened a temporary pop up shop based by the lifts in the West Wing of the hospital.

The shop, which opened on Monday, sells newspapers, magazines and a small selection of the usual stock and will be open Monday to Friday from 7am to 5.30pm and on Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm.

A trolley service will still be provided twice a day.

West Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announced in December that it had awarded a new contract to Compass Group to run the hospital shops, cafés and restaurants.

In return, the Trust said it would receive £450,000 a year to invest in patient services.

David Jones, director of estates, facilities and capital, said: “The trust is also investing in new facilities for our valued Friends organisations which are refocusing their shop and café services in other busy areas.

“We would like to thank them for their continued support and look forward to seeing their new facilities open in due course.

“As these changes take place over the coming weeks there will be some disruption to the availability of certain products and services and we would like to thank staff, patients and visitors for their understanding while we bring about these improvements to retail catering across the trust.”

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