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Hospital in car boot sale row

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A row has broken out over a hospital trust's decision to ban car boot sales in one of its car parks on Sundays.

Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust has written to a charity asking it not to hold the sales in Epsom General Hospital’s car park.

Epsom Hospital Medical Equipment Fund, which is staffed by volunteers, has raised nearly £3m for equipment for the hospital, including a £250,000 CT scanner.

Geoff Martin, head of campaigns at the pressure group Health Emergency, said a letter to the fund had claimed that part of the reason for the decision was that car boot sale visitors were using hospital toilets, incurring a cost relating to toilet paper and hot water.

Mr Martin said: ‘A charity is being banned from hospital premises because they have used a few quids’ worth of toilet and paper. It is an absolute disgrace.’

The trust refused to show Nursing Times a copy of the letter but said the decision to ban the sales was taken several years ago. However Health Emergency said the ban had previously only applied to the car park in St Helier hospital.

A trust statement said: ‘Several years ago, the trust made a decision not to allow car boot sales to take place on its sites.

‘This was for a number of reasons, including the disruption the sales were causing to the running of the hospitals, in particular problems for patients, visitors and staff who needed to park on site on the day of the sales.’

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