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The official opening of The Orthopaedic Hospital Post Office, which is now run by the hospital’s League of Friends, was marked by the mayor of Oswestry Councillor Sandy Best, hospital chief executive, Mark Brandreth and the League of Friends chairman, Peter David “cutting the ribbon”.
The Orthopaedic Hospital Post Office had been based next door to the League of Friends shop in separate premises. When the former long-serving Postmaster Sheila Donning wanted to leave to concentrate on her other branch at Gobowen, the League of Friends agreed to take on the Post Office and to combine the shops to make better use of the space and to avoid duplication of products.
Both shop premises in the foyer of the hospital have now merged. The new League of Friends shop and Post Office has been fully refurbished in a project that took five weeks. The old-style full screened Post Office counter has been replaced by a modern open-plan counter alongside the retail counter, which makes it far easier for staff and customers to have conversations.
Patients, staff and those visiting The Orthopaedic Post Office will benefit from longer opening hours. The branch is now open throughout the shop’s opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 3.30pm; Sunday: 9am – 12 noon.
This is an extra 14 hour and 30 minutes of Post Office service a week including the weekend. Also the Post Office no longer close at lunchtime.
Cllr Best, said: “I am delighted to be opening this fully refurbished League of Friends shop and Post Office. It looks great and I am sure that patients, staff and visitors alike will appreciate this modern well-stocked shop and Post Office that is conveniently located in the hospital.”
League of Friends chairman, Peter David, said: "The League are indeed happy to be providing this valuable service to the hospital, its staff, visitors and patients alike. This is further evidence of the way the League is slowly integrating into the day to day life of the hospital.
Profits from running the shop and Post Office are ploughed back into the hospital to improve the care and comfort of patients, visitors and staff, above and beyond what the NHS can fund and provide. This is the first League of Friends in the country operating a Post Office.
This is a new-style local plus Post Office branch with an enhanced range of products including manual banking, and Royal Mail and Parcelforce International Services. Cheques will continue to be accepted as a method of payment.
The new-style branch has been built in line with Post Office specifications to ensure sufficient space for the new style local Post Office to operate alongside the retail offer.
Annette Thomas, Post Office Network Operations Area Manager: “We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future.”
Local residents and small business customers will be able to access a wide range of Post Office and mails services, including special delivery, local collect, home shopping returns, online banking cash deposits and withdrawals. Other services include Post Office Card Account withdrawals, sending funds abroad using Moneygram, and customers can also pay bills, euros and dollars on demand and other pre-order travel money, and top up mobile phones.