The History of Friends of Milton Keynes Hospital & Community

Our History (so far)

For many years, the residents and council in Milton Keynes campaigned for an acute hospital to be built for Milton Keynes. This was achieved in the late 1970s. A steering committee was formed by Milton Keynes Council to explore the voluntary avenue for the future hospital.

The League of Friends of Milton Keynes Hospital was formed in 1979 with a grant of £10,000 from Milton Keynes Council (now called Friends of Milton Keynes Hospital & Community). This meant we were involved in the very early days of the development of the hospital, raising money for extra items for patients.

When the hospital opened in spring 1984, the hospital management asked the charity to provide a resource for the benefit of the patients, staff and visitors. This started with a small tuck shop in the old main entrance and over the years evolved into a café and convenience store. It was relocated in 2015 when the hospital redeveloped the site and opened a new main entrance in 2017 with outside caterers and shops.

The current MK Friends Shop is located near the breast clinic, hospital restaurant and garden, with ample chairs and tables on Level 1 of the Blue Zone. We’re ideally located for the wards, and we provide freshly made cold and hot food and drinks at affordable prices, along with many other items.

Since 1985, the MK Friends Shop has been run as a limited company and all its profits have been gift-aided to our charity. The shop has paid rent to the hospital since 1990. The rent paid to the end of June 2019 is over £1.3 million.

In 1988, the Friends started a daily trolley service around the wards, providing patients, visitors and staff with newspapers, magazines, drinks, confectionery, toiletries and many other things - a mobile corner shop.

When the name changed to Friends of Milton Keynes Hospital & Community, it enabled items to be raised for patients out in the community as well as the hospital, such as the Ambulance Service, local GP Practices and outside physiotherapy departments.

In 2019, we celebrated our 40th anniversary and in 2020 we launched our Online Shop. Patients, their families and friends are able to order a wide range of items online for delivery to the wards. All profits go to improve patient experience.



Milton Keynes Hospital opened in 1984. We raised money to purchase the CT Scanner and other items such as patient furniture, TVs, microwaves and other medical equipment.

Over £630,000 on items for patient care.



The hospital re-designed the main entrance. A new Friends shop with a café & small self-service shop with a seating area.

Over £355,000 spent on items for patient care. Rent paid to the hospital amounted to £334,000.



The New Treatment Centre for planned day and overnight surgery. It opened in 2004.

Friends spent over £375,000 on items for patient care in the hospital & community. Rent paid to the hospital amounted to £415,000.



Friends Shop was relocated in 2015 next to the restaurant & garden level 1 in the blue zone.

Friends spent over £300,000 on items for patient care up until end of 2018. Rent paid to the hospital amounted to £570,000.

One-Off Donations

Your support will help MK Friends fund more items for Milton Keynes University Hospital.

Over 40 Years of Supporting Patient Care in Milton Keynes
In 2019, MK Friends celebrated their 40th Anniversary. Read about MK Friends History