The volunteers’ shop at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital is to close for three weeks next month before it reopens with a whole new image.
It is believed the shop, which has been run in the Atrium at the GWH by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service for a decade, will be taken over by Compass Group and transformed into a Costa Coffee and shop.
The shop is leased by the WRVS from the Hospital Company, which owns the hospital under the private finance initiative, but the lease ends next month.
Shortly before Christmas, the 78 volunteers who run the shop and trolley service for patients were told they had been unsuccessful in a re-tendering exercise for the shop. It will be run by a new supplier, thought to be Compass Group, a food and support services organisation. The shop will close temporarily on February 28.
John Clifford, WRVS area manager for Swindon, said: “WRVS can confirm the shop at the Great Western Hospital will be closing on February 28. We are in negotiations with the hospital with a view to continuing the trolley and escort services.”
Volunteers are concerned the changes will mean the trolley service, which involves regular trips to wards to give patients a selection of refreshments, newspapers and magazines, and the escort service, which helps wheelchair users get to and from hospital departments, will be lost altogether.
The Hospital Company has declined to comment.