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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
WRVS to close hospital's services
Hospital trolley (generic)
The WRVS is hoping it can salvage the trolley service at the UHW
The Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) is ending its 40-year role at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, after running at a loss.

Staffed by around 35 volunteers, the charity currently provides three static stands, a mobile trolley service and also stocks vending machines.

But it will come to an end in two months, following competition from commercial outlets.

A spokeswoman said: "It is a very sad day for the WRVS."

The charity is hoping it can salvage its trolley provision before bringing the rest of the operation to a close.

It has offered alternative placements in local community projects for the volunteers, some of whom have worked at the hospital for more than 20 years.

We would be very sad to lose their valuable contribution
Peter Walsh, hospital spokesman

Alternative employment is also being sought for two paid members of staff.

Scott Lockwood, WRVS south Wales spokeswoman, said: ""It is a very sad day for the WRVS because we wanted to stay in the hospital.

"It is a real blow to the volunteers and workers and we have a great deal of sympathy for them.

"Staff and patients in the hospital are going to miss us a great deal I am sure."

The charity said it could not continue to make a loss at the hospital, and wanted to help people across a number of different projects.

"Direct competition"

The spokeswoman added: "WH Smiths, Boots and Costa all have outlets in the concourse of the hospital and are direct competition for us.

"They are businesses and we had to try to compete with them but it was difficult for us as a charity.

"In one of our vending machines we couldn't stock anything with sugar in it because it was situated in the dental school."

She denied the service was closing because of mis-management.

Peter Welsh from Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust said they had not been notified by the WRVS about its planned withdrawal.

"We are very grateful for the important service they provide to our staff and patients and we would be very sad to lose their valuable contribution," he added.

"We will continue to talk directly to the WRVS in the hope that a solution can be found."

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