Boston hospital store criticised for “exploiting the sick” with price rises

A shop at Pilgrim Hospital has drawn criticism from staff and patients for “beyond reasonable” increases to its prices.

CH&Co, who manage the stores at United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT) hospitals, were reported to have increased prices in April 2019.

Customers noted how: “A packet of jammy dodgers was £1.50, now it is £3!

“The same pack costs 50p in ASDA.”

Another customer who works at the hospital, explained: “They tried to charge us £1.69 for a Dairylea Dunker when the RRP [recommended retail price] said 69p on the label.

“We had to explain they couldn’t overcharge like that.”

A photo on social media shows a can of Sure deodorant, which can be bought for £1.50 in ASDA, for sale at £5.

One customer said: “The hospital shop has hiked its prices up beyond reasonable.

“It’s exploitation of people that literally can’t leave, so have no other option but to pay them.

“It’s especially sad for those without visitors who can’t bring things in for them.”

Ian Hayden, facilities manager for ULHT, said: “We have seen a price increase to some of the products in our on-site shops, and have been assured that all pricing will continuously be reviewed by the providers CH&CO.”

CH&Co, who operate the store, took over the shops and cafes in Lincolnshire hospitals from WH Smith in 2018, investing £700,000 across the Lincoln and Boston sites.

This follows a similar case in Wakefield last year, where WH Smith apologised after customers were being charged inflated amounts for items, such as toothpaste normally costing £2.50, being sold at £7.99.

Pilgrim Hospital made the news earlier this year when problems with a new parking system led to staff and patients being wrongly fined, and a period of “chaos” after a new parking system was installed.

CH&Co have been approached for comment.

by Tom McBeth (June 2019)

Published on Lincolnshire Live:

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