The League of Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital raised over £14,0000 in the year that ended on March 31st 2008. They spent over £7800 on equipment for the hospital during the year, ending the year with funds of £45,000. Of this, £14000 has already been committed to expenditure in the current year.
Guest Speaker at the AGM of the League of Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital was Martin Wakeley, Chief Executive of Winchester, Eastleigh and Andover Health Care Trust. He spoke of his first year in office and of his commitment to Andover Hospital. Describing Andover as a vibrant and expanding town, he said he wanted to make some immediate improvements to the Hospital as evidence of the Trusts's determination to invest in the site. Proposals for a new Outpatients Department would be going to the Board shortly, and he hoped work would begin within weeks, once tenders had been secured. The work would cost £2.5 million, and would give the hospital a state-of-the-art facility, located next to the Minor Injuries Unit.
The existing endoscopy machine was some 20 years old, and would shortly be replaced with a new one costing £200,000. He was also planning to provide a new digital mammography machine.
Speaking of the recently introduced hospital bus linking Andover Hospital to Winchester Hospital, he said this was proving popular, with 500 people having used it since the launch - about 24 people per day.
He said he had had discussions with Mary Fagan, and the future of the Countess of Brecknock Hospice on the site was assured.
To fund the improvements in the hospital, it would be necessary to dispose of some land for housing but, given the state of the housing market, this was unlikely to happen within two years. Difficult decisions would also need to be taken about the front of the hospital, which was not in a good condition for the delivery of modern medicine.
He was advertising for the post of Manager at Andover Hospital, and recognised that the League of Friends, and other organisations, needed a focal point for contact. He hopes to have a discussion about how the League of Friends, whose work he welcomed, might help deliver the improvements he wanted to see.
Mike Reynolds, who was re-elected Chairman of the League of Friends, thanked Martin Wakeley for his talk.