"Canteen pricing"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Intensive care unit

(as a relative),

While visiting my mother in ICU at Forth Valley Royal Hospital I went for a hot drink to the canteen. I took my own tea bag as I use decaffeinated.

I was astounded to be asked to pay 30p for a cup of hot water! I and my family will be visiting the hospital every day for several weeks, and possibly months to come so all these 30p will add up. I am a nurse in another NHS hospital and no charge is made for hot water. It is, after all, a free commodity!

On a similar subject, the mark-up for non-staff food from the canteen is also very expensive, especially for those visiting for prolonged periods of time. A bowl of chowder was in excess of £4 today!

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Response from Arlian Mallis, Person Centred Health and Care Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

Dear Sir / Madam

I am very sorry to hear you were unhappy at being charged for hot water in the Restaurant, whilst visiting Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Normally, there is no hot water available through the Restaurant and if hot water is required, the customer is directed to the vending area where they would pay the charge of 0.30p. The cashier who served you at the time had a queue and did wish to hold it up, so charged 0.30p the same as the vended hot water.

There is a charge associated with the cost of consumables, preparing and serving hot water within our Restaurant and it was thought 0.30p was fair. This charge was agreed with NHS Forth Valley, as with all items served within the Restaurant.

We do have staff facilities within the hospital, totally separate from the Restaurant, where hot water only is provided free of charge, however to also help accommodate every taste within the Restaurant, we sell decaffeinated tea, coffee and a variety of fruit tea.

I hope this provides a suitable explanation, however, if you wish to discuss it further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully

Lorraine Beattie

General Manager – Soft Services

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