Paula Sherriff, MP for the Dewsbury constituency, has criticised retailers operating in hospitals who are charging up to 90% more for various items than in their high street stores.
It has been revealed that high street traders such as Marks & Spencer and WH Smith, who have stores in hospitals all over the country, are ripping off patients and hospital visitors. Recent research showed that items such as bottled water, sandwiches and stationary are considerably more expensive in hospital stores in comparison to the same items on the High Street. For example a 750ml bottle of water costing £1.00 in a WH Smith store in Leeds City Centre is marked at £1.89 at Pinderfields Hospital.
Paula who has recently launched a campaign for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to drop proposals to charge Blue Badge holders for parking said:
“I will be raising this issue in parliament when I return after recess. It’s a case of the most vulnerable being exploited once again. Nobody chooses to be in hospital, either as a patient or visiting a loved one, and these retailers are taking advantage of a captive audience.”
The Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospital Trust commented to the BBC that pricing policy was a commercial decision by WH Smith.
Paula said “I am not accepting that the Trust should wash its hands of this issue. Whilst the retailers are a private entity the Trust should take responsibility when issuing contracts on how these companies operate.”