THE town hospital’s charity has responded to concerns surrounding its plans to merge with another medical fundraiser.

Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital announced it was in talks with Basingstoke hospital’s charity, North Hampshire Medical Fund, to join together earlier this month, which raised some questions over financial transparency.

While the Friends assured current funds and future money raised by local volunteers would be ringfenced for spending at Andover War Memorial Hospital, others feared this would not be the case.

Of the £51,575.84 currently held by the Friends charity, more than £30,000 is committed across seven approved projects for Andover’s hospital.

Chair of the Friends trustees Mary Critcher said the remaining £20,000 will also be spent for Andover projects, and discussions are ongoing with hospital management to consider the refurbishment of the in-patient rehabilitation service.

Mrs Critcher added the charity’s accounts are checked and reported on by an independent accountant.

She said: “No reporting accountant has ever raised a query about the accounts as prepared by the treasurer, so donors can rest assured their donation is held securely.

“Understandably people want to be sure that money raised by the people of Andover, through our various fundraising activities, is spent for the benefit and wellbeing of patients receiving care and treatment in Andover.

“This has always been the case and will continue to do so.”

The hospitals Basingstoke and Andover are both run by the same NHS foundation trust, Hampshire Hospitals, alongside Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital and North Hampshire Medical Fund chiefs believe as the hospitals are run under one trust, the charities could also benefit from being under one roof.