‘Bring your own food and drink’: New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City to lose its café

PUBLISHED: 08:33 16 March 2019

The main entrance to the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Alan Davies.

The main entrance to the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Alan Davies.

Alan Davies.

Staff and visitors have been told to bring their own food and drink to the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City after the closure of its café next week.

The coffee shop will shut its doors at the end of Wednesday and the associated vending machines will also be removed.

It is hoped the coffee shop will reopen under new management at a later date.

A spokesperson for East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The company that runs the café and refreshment vending machines has decided that it no longer wishes to continue running a service at the New QEII and will be moving out.

“We believe that people going to the New QEII and staff working there need somewhere to buy food and drink.

“The CCG has asked Community Health Partnerships to urgently find a new company to run the café so that it can reopen as soon as possible.”

Community Health Partnerships lease space in the hospital to the various organisations that use the building, including the café.

The CCG spokesperson said: “As the current facility is due to close very soon, there may be a period of time when there won’t be a café in the hospital.

“During this time we strongly encourage patients and visitors coming to the hospital to bring food and drink with them.”

Discussion of the closure provoked an outcry in community groups on social media.

Some commenters were concerned about people who had made unplanned visits or faced unexpected long waits, while others were disappointed the vending machines were not remaining.

A sign in the hospital to advise of the closure suggested visitors bring refreshments with them if they were “planning to stay for a long period of time”.

A spokesperson for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said: “It is important for patients, staff and visitors to have access to catering facilities and we have asked both (Community Health Partnerships East and the North Hertfordshire CCG) to help make sure that this continues to be the case.”

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