League of Friends in 'eviction' from Surrey hospitals

Charity volunteers who provide catering to two Surrey hospitals have begun a petition amid claims they are being "evicted".

The League of Friends has staff and volunteers at both Ashford Hospital and St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, who run shops, cafes and a trolley service.

But Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust has put the catering service out to competitive tender.

The hospital said it needed a new partner to invest in the service.

Jim McCall, of the League of Friends, said the charity had raised £1.5m for the hospital since 1999 but now faced "eviction".

The trust's deputy chief executive Valerie Bartlett praised the charity's work but said the level of investment needed was beyond its means.

Ms Bartlett said she wanted to continue to work with the League of Friends but the catering service needed modernising.

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