Costa and Amigo open at St Richard’s Hospital

Friends volunteers at St Richard's Hospital. Work is underway on the new shop in the outpatients department
Friends volunteers at St Richard's Hospital. Work is underway on the new shop in the outpatients department

The new Costa Coffee and convenience shop Amigo have just opened in the main entrance of St Richard’s Hospital and work on the new Friends of Chichester Hospitals shop has begun.

The visitor restaurants relaunch as Spice of Life restaurants at the Chichester hospital this week and next, with all the work set to be completed later this month.

The changes to the main entrances at St Richard’s Hospital, Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham are part of The Compass Group taking over all catering at the three hospitals in a £1.1 million deal, while also handing the trust £450,000 a year for patient services.

David Jones, director of facilities, estates and capital, said: “It’s exciting to see these improvements to our shops, cafés and restaurants come to fruition and I am sure patients, visitors and staff will enjoy the broader selections available and longer opening hours.

“We are also developing new facilities in other busy areas of our hospitals for our valued Friends organisations which will provide even more choice for everyone once they open in the coming weeks.”

The Friends charity had to move out of its long-standing shop site at the main entrance after 20 years there.

When the decision was announced in November, the charity’s chairman said its volunteers were ‘deeply disappointed’ the trust had awarded a contract to a commercial provider for the retail spaces currently occupied by the Friends.

However, the hospital trust offered the charity the opportunity to relocate to the outpatients department, taking over the space vacated by the WRVS Café, which was forced to close.

When the move was agreed in December, the trustees from the Friends charity said: “The space will be reconfigured to provide modern retail facilities and to support the ‘lifeline’ ward trolley service, whose survival has been a matter of significant public concern.”

A spokesman said this week: “The building work is underway and we hope that our new shop will open just after Easter. We continue to do the ward trolleys, which are very much appreciated, and these will continue until our new premises are open.”

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