Hospital volunteers upset
HOSPITAL volunteers have accused health chiefs of rubbishing their efforts in raising money for the Conquest.
The Friends of the Conquest, which holds various fund-raising events to collect cash for new equipment, said remarks made by bosses at a November board meeting caused offence.
In the minutes recorded chiefs said they were 'concerned' at the level of the charity's available funds as compared to Eastbourne DGH's League of Friends, which has 1million.
Margaret Williams, secretary of the Friends of the Conquest, said: "We do not feel it is within the remit of the board to discuss and criticise our efforts.
"Eastbourne's League of Friends has increased its funds. Their legacies rose from 207,000 in 2005 to almost 600,000 in 2006.
"Hastings received little or no legacies.
"The two towns are completely different. Eastbourne is regarded as having more wealth and Hastings is the poor neighbour.
"We have increased our funds this year due to our high profile campaign to stop downgrading of the hospital.
"The Friends are completely voluntary and they now feel their many unpaid hours are not appreciated.
"They work extremely hard in their endeavours to raise money for the patients and it does little to boost their morale to be criticised by the very people benefiting from those efforts."
Dr David Scott, medical director for East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs both the Conquest and Eastbourne's DGH, said the recorded minutes of November's board meeting needed to be changed to show chiefs did appreciate the charity's work.
Jim Davey, director of operations, said he was 'pleased and amazed' at the Friends' fund-raising.
Chief executive Kim Hodgson suggested there be one League of Friends covering both the trust's hospitals.
She added many patients in both Eastbourne and Hastings received treatment at both sites.
Chairman John Lewis said: "We thank the Friends for all their efforts. We really mean that."