"Unhelpful reception staff"

About: Potters Bar Community Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

We all know parking is an issue at most hospitals and the car park at Potters Bar Community Hospital is especially tiny and always very busy.

I arrived for my son's appointment (about 10 minutes early) and the car park was totally full with lots of people up on verges and kerbs instead of spaces. I decided to stop for a minute in a disabled space to drop my son off so he wouldn't be late.

I ran in (stressed and concerned about blocking a space). I left my son with the people on the Moorfield Eye Clinic reception and went to the main reception to explain what I wanted to do as I didn't know the area at all and needed to be pointed to somewhere I could park. But instead of helping or even listening she began a 'learned piece' (quoting the website as she said) about not bringing cars.

She made me feel like I had to justify bringing my car before I was allowed to continue with the point of the query in the first place, and then wasted my time disagreeing with the justifications I suggested (such as having to come from the other side of the M25 and public transport not being up to those logistics) before she would even listen to what I was trying to ask, so I could remove my car from a presumably much needed disabled bay.

A small thing but frustrating and annoying. I didn't want to argue with someone, I wanted quick advice on how to resolve the situation so I could unblock a space someone else could better use and collect my 8 year old who was unhappy about being left with people he didn't know.

I'm sure parking complaints must be something they get a lot but people should listen before they assume they are being criticised and jump into defence mode.

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Response from Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

On behalf of the reception team at Potters Bar Hospital I would like to apologise if it was felt that the communication that took place was not helpful or supportive during your visit in July.

Parking for patients, visitors and staff at Potters Bar Hospital is very restricted and misuse of the designated bays for disabled patients is an on-going problem. Although the Reception team are not responsible for managing use of the car park by visitors, where possible, they do challenge inappropriate use of the disabled bays to ensure availability for disabled patients using services at the hospital.

As part of a programme to manage the car park issues at the hospital, a maintenance programme has just been completed and we have been working with our partner services providing clinics in the hospital, to advise them to inform their patients about the limited car parking facilities on site and in the surrounding area.

Joanna Fisher

Locality Manager

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

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