A hospital charity that has donated more than 1 million pounds makes a "sad decision" to close after 70 years


A charity that has donated more than £ 1 million worth of life-saving equipment for hospitalized patients has made the "difficult and sad" decision to give up after 70 years.

The Royal Friends of Gloucestershire Hospital will hold its final AGM this month after failing to find volunteers to fill the commission's roles in the organization.

It brings to end seven decades of vital fundraising for the hospital as well as a social network for retiring nurses and doctors. Hospitals in Gloucestershire, NHS Trust, were "heavily indebted" to the group, said chief executive Deborah Lee.

Dr. Brian Witcome, a spokesman for the group of friends, said: "Older members have not been replaced by new enthusiasts, so organizational burdens have been concentrated on fewer shoulders.

"This has led to an increase in the difficulty of finding members to serve on the committee in recent years, and so it was agreed that the group of friends would not continue.

"After 70 years, the group will no longer be adding ice to the NHS cake. I would like to thank everyone for their support. "

The group worked closely with the NHS hospital trust.

Donated more than £ 1.25 million

When the equipment was needed, the requests were received by the group that used money raised through donations, donations and raising funds to pay for them. They included patient monitors, ultrasound equipment, and spinal beds.

In total, more than £ 1.25m was given to the trust, but in recent years the amount has been reduced.

In 2017, the charity spent just over £ 20,000. Dr. Witcombe, who worked for 27 years as a radiologist at the hospital, said: "We tend to focus our money on areas of the hospital where the appeal for donations was not as strong as long-term and elderly people. .

"Of course it was a difficult and sad decision, but I do not think we had any choice."

Dr. Witcombe said that one of the factors behind the closure of the charity was the emergence of the hospital charity group.

In 2016/17, it spent almost £ 1 million, with most going for new equipment. Cheltenham General Hospital League of Friends has also fought. In its 2017 annual report, council chairman Les Poulter said the committee was having difficulty raising money.

Deborah Lee

Lee, in his report to the January board meeting of the Gloucestershire NHS Trust Hospitals Trust, said: "Trust received a thank you to acknowledge the end of an incredible chapter in the history of trust, saying thank you and goodbye to the Friends of Gloucestershire Royal. Hospital.

"Over 70 years of support, Friends provided more than £ 1.25 million in trust funding to support the care and comfort of patients and staff.

"Trust is immensely grateful to those who have served their friends over their seven decades."

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The charity began as the Gloucester and District Welfare Fund before changing its name to the League of Friends of Royal Hospitals and Gloucester Maternity in 1980.

The current name was adopted in 2005. A tree was planted and a recognition plaque was installed in the hospital as a reminder of the work of the charity.


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