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Apology after tubes of toothpaste are sold for nearly £10 at hospital shop in Wakefield

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Retailer WHSmith has apologised after being caught selling £2.49 tubes of toothpaste for £7.99 at a hospital shop in Wakefield.

The WHSmith outlet at Pinderfields Hospital sold a total of 89 tubes of Colgate at the wrong price.

It has blamed the problem – which was only rectified after the mix-up was spotted by a visitor – on a “system error”.

The retailer made more than £700 from the rogue sales and has now pledged to donate the extra profits to the St George’s Crypt homeless charity in Leeds.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to our customers for a small number of recent pricing errors in our system.

“The errors have now been rectified and the extra profits from these sales will be donated to charity.”

A national newspaper also claimed that nappies, mouthwash and other essentials have been heavily marked up in price at outlets run by WHSmith in 129 hospitals nationwide.

Patients Association chief executive Rachel Power said: “When people are unwell and in hospital, and therefore unable to go elsewhere with any ease, they should be able to expect retailers not to exploit their situation for profit.”

A WHSmith spokesman said: “There is a small number of ranges like toiletries which we stock in hospitals for customers’ convenience which are not sold in our high street stores.

“Despite having relatively low sales of these products we aim to set our prices as competitively as possible.

“We are currently reviewing the prices of all such items to ensure they comply with this policy and will take the appropriate action where they do not.”