A HOSPITAL in Reading spent £47.8 million on drugs over the last financial year, new figures show. 

The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, on London Road, revealed the numbers as part of its annual general meeting on July 16. 

Nicky Lloyd, the trust’s chief financial officer, also said the hospital spent £251 million on paying staff. 

The hospital employs 5,500 staff and has around 400 volunteers. 

Ms Lloyd said this financial year, £16.9 million savings must be cut from the budget. She said: “It seems like an awful lot of money, and it is.

“The funding doesn’t match the cost increases, so we have to make savings each year.”

This year the hospital is celebrating its 180th anniversary. Its chief executive, Steve McManus, said: “It has been a real privilege to celebrate our 180 years. 

“We have had an opportunity to celebrate our place in the community. It’s a real proud moment.”

Ms Lloyd said over the last year, the hospital washed 3 million items of linen, the kitchen made 1 million meals for patients, and received 10,655 boxes of hand towels. 

The hospital will hold an open day on September 7 to celebrate its 180th anniversary. There will be tours of departments, presentations and exhibitions.