For over 30 years Red Cross volunteers have run a tea bar in the outpatients’ department of Grantham Hospital.
As well as serving a variety of drinks and snacks, they have dispensed hearing aid batteries, often given free drinks to patients of the haematology department or who have had to fast hours prior to medical procedures, and have helped in many other ways. Care for patients has always been the priority.
Many thousands of pounds worth of equipment has been given to the hospital and to support Red Cross services in Lincolnshire.
At the gifts presentation to hospital wards on Friday, representatives from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust announced that within a few months this tea ban will be closed. It will be replaced by a commercial organisation. They will open in the present WH Smith area, a retail outlet with takeaway drinks and four bar stools!
We are all aware of the financial pressures on the NHS but it seems so sad that such a valued facility has to be removed when it is supporting patients as a voluntary service.