"The Parking Eye fiasco"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

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I have no complaints about the care and staff at the hospital. I have always found it excellent. My problem is the new Parking Eye system. My particular gripe is that the machine does not give change. This is a retrograde step compared to the old system. I had to take my husband to the day surgery dept for 07.30 and had to leave before the first hour was up. It was still quite early, about 08.05 and I had no change. I tried the change machine in A and E but there was nothing left in it and a message advised me to "seek assistance". (From where it didnt say). I tried to get change from the hospital shop but it was not open and a member of said to try the canteen. That didnt open till 08.30. I waited untill it opened and got the change but because finding it took so long I had to pay for another hour. This is not the first time Id used the system but its the worst experience Ive had of it so far. I feel the system is upsetting for patients and their families who are already anxious and worried about going to hospital and this system is so confusing it just adds more stress at a difficult time and having read some of the comments it seems Im not the only one who thinks the system is rubbish. Does anyone ever act on these sort if complaints or are they dismissed as petty.

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Madam Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. Firstly can I assure you that no feedback about our services and hospitals would ever be dismissed as petty. Understanding and learning from the experience of our patients is something we continually strive to do. We have invested in a programme which means that every year we listen to feedback from more than 30,000 patients and their families. We greatly appreciate their concerns, complaints and / or compliments - all of these help us to improve and design responsive services that patients will use. Rather frustratingly, last Friday when NHS Choices notified me about your post – I responded immediately, within minutes. I was trying to demonstrate just how important your views were. Unfortunately, there have been a number of technical problems with the NHS choices website – none of my posts last Friday were recorded. I have had on going difficulties all week and I am still experiencing problems tonight. I am sorry that all this has prevented me from responding to you in the way I had intended to. I was also really sorry to hear about your frustrating experience of the new Parking Eye system and in particular your early morning search for change. I am sure this was the last thing you needed to experience just before your husband’s surgery.I have shared your comments with Eleanor Murray the manager responsible for machine and she has asked me to forward on her apologies. She has assured me that there had been some issues initially with the machine but believes that these have now been rectified. We do continue to have the option of paying on departure which may have alleviated some of the frustration for you on this particular morning. We made the decision to advise people to make payment when they arrive and then top up with any extra before they leave so that they don’t forget their time of arrival or indeed forget to pay at all however you are covered as long as you make payment before midnight on the day of your visit. One of the main reasons for the introduction of ParkingEye, was to remove the need for the replacement of existing payment and barrier machines which we estimate will save around £70,000 – this money that will be directed back into patient services. I do hope your husband is recovering well, Best Wishes Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience.

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Response from Annie Laverty, Director of Patient Experience, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

picture of Annie Laverty

Dear Pam,

Just to update you on the outcome of this. The Trust has made an important change and reached an agreement which will result in the termination of the management contract with Parking Eye on all Northumbria premises.

I hope this provides you with some assurance of our determination to listen and respond to the needs of our patients and the local people we serve.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

With all best wishes,


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