Fareham councillors row over fee for hospital charity event

A ROW of words has broken out over a leaflet criticising a hospital charity.

Fareham Community Hospital in Sarisbury Green
Fareham Community Hospital in Sarisbury Green

Fareham borough councillor Dr Maryam Brady questioned an advert from the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital in a recent edition of Liberal Democrat leaflet Fareham East and Wallington Focus.

The charity is organising a series of discussions to raise funds, including a talk with Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on September 29 between local residents and the CCG about what improvements they would like to see at Fareham Community Hospital.

Guests to the event are asked to pay £7, which includes refreshments and in the leaflet Cllr Brady questioned the amount.

Cllr Maryam Brady

She is quoted: ‘I believe that asking people to pay to attend the event, even at only £7, is likely to put off the very people who are in the most acute need of good health services and already facing the greatest adversity.’

Her comments have faced a backlash from Councillor Sean Woodward, Conservative leader of the borough council, who accused Dr Brady of attacking the charity for charging guests.

Cllr Woodward, who is a patron of the charity, said: ‘This is a fundraising event being run by a charity, which raises funds and provides volunteers to help the hospital provide the best possible patient experience.

‘It is inconceivable why the Fareham Liberals should be attacking these hard-working volunteers in this way while they are running a fundraising event.

Cllr Maryam Brady

‘As a medic herself, Councillor Brady really should know better and should appreciate the good works carried out by patient-support charities within the NHS.’

In response, Councillor Brady said: ‘I was told there is a fee being charged for using the community hospital and it is also hoped that we can raise some money for the friends of the hospital.

‘It seems strange to ticket the events at £7 each just to cover the cost of tea and coffee.’

Residents hoping to attend the event at the hospital in Brook Lane, Sarisbury Green can call the charity’s treasurer on 07968 096054.

The event will last from 7pm to 8.30pm.