Costa Coffee slammed for adding 10p 'surcharge' to drinks at hospital cafes

A popular coffee chain has been criticised for increasing the price of its drinks at NHS outlets.

Costa Coffee branches at hospitals charge 10p extra for drinks at a number of locations, which has been branded a ‘hospital tax’ on those visiting sick relatives.

The chain has 94 concessions in UK hospitals, but while they charge £3.05 for a small latte at its branch in Northumberland Street, Newcastle, the same drink at the nearby Royal Victoria Infirmary would set you back £3.15, The Sun reports.

Similarly, at the Costa Coffee in St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, West Sussex, a flat white will cost you £3.25 and a latte or cappuccino £3.15.

But the same drinks purchased at its East Street branch, just under a mile away, are all 10p cheaper.

The disparity has been criticised by Dennis Reed who is director of campaign group Silver Voices.

He said: ‘They know with long waiting times for patients and their relatives, they have captive customers who need refreshments, so they slap on a hospital surcharge.’

Costa Coffee says the prices in its hospital outlets are set by its partners.

For example, the Royal Victoria Infirmary branch is run by Medirest.

A Costa spokesman said: ‘It is not uncommon to find some Costa Coffee products that are priced higher, reflecting the unique locations and operating costs associated with those locations.’

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