Hospital shops accused of charging “obscene” prices

SHOPS in Scottish hospitals have been accused of charging “obscene” prices.
Some in-house retailers are charging patients, relatives and staff up to 50% more than they would pay in the nearest supermarket.
Scotland Patients Association said the investigation revealed a need for a boycott of hospital shops as customers were being “fleeced”.
The research found that a basket of goods at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, cost £15.88 compared with £9.77 in a “typical” supermarket, Asda in Toryglen, Glasgow.
Edinburgh's ERI is among hospitals accused of rip-off pricing at shops
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s shop is charging £2.99 for a 300g punnet of green grapes compared with £1.35 at the supermarket.
Margaret Watt, of the Scotland Patients Association, said it was cheaper in some cases to have lunch on a train than from a hospital shop.
“Enough is enough,” she said. “It’s time for everyone to boycott these rip-off shops.
“If you know a patient tell them not to buy anything and bring them what they need from the supermarket.
“These shops think that because they have a captive audience, it’s a licence to fleece patients and their relatives.
“Statistics show most people in hospitals are elderly, unemployed or from a similarly deprived background.”
She added: “Times are incredibly difficult for everyone at the moment and the last thing they need when they’re in hospital is to have to pay nearly double the price for a bottle of water than they would in a supermarket.”
The research found that a 500ml bottle of Lucozade is £1.65 at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary compared with £1.08 in the supermarket.
Glasgow Royal Infirmary charges £2 for a 50ml tube of Colgate toothpaste compared with £1 at the supermarket.
And a Kit Kat costs 79p in the shop at Ninewells compared with 40p at the supermarket.
The basket totals for Edinburgh were £15.34, Glasgow cost exactly the same and Aberdeen was £15.69.
Most hospitals in Scotland lease out space for shops and the NHS boards for Tayside, Grampian, Greater Glasgow and Lothian said they did not set the prices.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “We have a number of retail and independent property leases within Ninewells Hospital. These are leased on a standard commercial lease basis with retailers independently setting their ow