£190k fund unused

Susan Raju and Ros Wess
Susan Raju and Ros Wess

CAMPAIGNERS who raised cash for a hydrotherapy pool at a Wigan hospital are demanding to know where their money has gone - 10 years after they hit the target.

Susan Raju and Ros Wess, of Parbold, are members of a committee which raised money to install the pool at Wrightington Hospital. The hospital already has a pool, but it needed to be replaced.

Susan, a former non-executive director at Wrightington Trust, joined the committee, in 1998. Ros joined shortly afterwards and they raised more than £120,000 by around 2002/03.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust agreed to match-fund the cost of the pool, between £300,000 and £350,000, but plans to install it were put on hold as the hospital’s future was undecided.

The total raised stands at £190,779, but the cost of the pool is now £500,000.

Susan said: “We had a letter before Christmas from the Trust saying the Patient Advice and Liaison Services would need five weeks to investigate and then we received another letter saying PALS needed another four weeks.

“We can understand the Trust waiting to decide the future of the hospital, but it has gone on too long. We have an obligation to the people who donated and explain where their money has gone.”

A spokeswoman for WWL NHS Foundation Trust confirmed Wrightington Hospital would remain open, with a £18m investment. She said: “Our first level of priority on the site will be to invest in theatres and ward accommodation. In addition to this, we need to take into consideration that a new hydrotherapy pool has already been built at Platt Bridge Health Centre, funded by the Primary Care Trust.

“We also already have an existing hydrotherapy pool at Wrightington Hospital, which we are actively treating patients in it.”

She added if a decision was made not to build the pool, the money would be returned, or reassigned to another Trust charitable fund.