MORE than half a million pounds raised for Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Jigsaw Appeal has gone on management fees, fundraising costs and investment losses.

Between 2006/7 and 2011/12, a total of £2,199,685 has been raised for the appeal, which was set up to fund improved facilities for cancer and blood disorder patients.

That figure included £812,000 in donations and more than £1million in legacies, with the rest coming from investments and interest.

But figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that £514,085 has been deducted in that time due to administration fees, fundraising costs and investment losses.

The appeal fund stood at £1,685,600 at the end of the financial year.

A group who raised £55,000 for the Jigsaw Appeal and its predecessor the Tenovus Diamond Appeal have criticised hospital bosses for not spending the money several years ago when the £2m total was reached.

They fear the hospital’s recently announced plans for a £3m cancer and women’s centre are little more than a “smokescreen” to detract attention from their concerns.

However, hospital bosses insist they are “absolutely committed” to a new cancer and blood disorders facility and say the Jigsaw Appeal funds will be spent wisely to improve services for cancer patients.

They also say their charity accounts have been independently audited, their running costs are lower than those of other charity appeals and their investments have performed well, generating money for the appeal.

Jan Oates, of Ophir Road in Bournemouth, is unconvinced. “That money was given to them five or six years ago to refurbish wards 10 and 11 and none of that has been spent,” she said.

“Those wards have been described by the hospital themselves as some of the worst facilities they have.

“There are thousands of people who have been through those wards in the past few years who would have benefitted from those wards being refurbished. Instead, the money has just sat there.”

The figures show that in the last three financial years, management or administration charges of £10,747, £15,577 and £14,681 have been applied, even though the appeal was officially closed in 2009.

Jan added: “How many coffee mornings is that? How many fundraising events? It is so very frustrating.”

A spokesperson for the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is absolutely committed to a new cancer and blood disorders facility at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. The Board of Directors is frustrated by, and regrets, the delay but the funds are available and it is determined to spend them wisely.

“We are fortunate to have many charity fundraisers and donors and we thank them for their continued support. The hospital experience of our patients will be greatly improved because of the fundraising from this appeal.”

They said the published accounts were below the £2m previously announced because there were outstanding pledges that will only be released when building work starts.

They point out that the investment income generated for the appeal stands at £164,998 and offsets the fundraising costs of £164,595.

Have your say

FUNDRAISER Sarah Bates said: “What’s upsetting is that fundraising is very hard work and we did it for nothing. We now feel very let down.”

JENNY White said: “I started fundraising 10 years ago after losing a number of relatives to cancer. I’m very angry at the situation we now find ourselves in.”

SHIRLEY Sherman said: “We know that the hospital gives good treatment and the staff are marvellous. This is about improving facilities.”

ROSEMARY Mundy said: “We’ve gone on for so many years pushing for this and it feels like we’re back to square one. We don’t seem to be getting anywhere.”

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