"Medical care excellent - admin below par"

About: Salford Royal

Anything else?

Although my overall care was excellent, upon leaving the information given on my discharge form was incorrect for the dates of treatment e.t.c. despite several phone calls and agreements to change e.t.c. it seems to be very difficult to achieve these changes. I am still working on it now 4 days after I left the ward. In addition the cost of car parking is just plain scandalous. You should never have to pay for car parking to visit people in an NHS hospital otherwise the service quite simply isn't free. The new outdoor areas and shopping area is now very nice, however the outdoor area has smokers in it therefore making it a no go zone for a lot of people. So therefore where should the non-smokers go?

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Response from Salford Royal

Thank you for commenting on your experiences here at Salford Royal. I am pleased to note that you are happy with the medical care received but am sorry to read that you have experienced problems with the accuracy of your discharge summary. If I could encourage you to contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS@srft.nhs.uk), they may be able to assist in rectifying this. I am also sorry to read that you felt unable to enjoy the grounds of the hospital due to people smoking. The Trust has a policy to restrict smoking on site and has provided smoking shelters for patients and visitors away from these areas but unfortunately, people do continue to smoke in the grounds. Staff will remind patients and visitors where they can and cannot smoke and whilst I acknowledge that it is difficult to police, I would like to offer reassurance that the Trust does take this matter seriously and will continue to make all reasonable effort to restrict smoking to the appropriate areas. Finally, you have raised the issue of car parking charges. I am sorry you are unhappy with the charges that are in place. The charges at Salford Royal are at the lower end of what people can expect to pay when compared to other hospitals in Greater Manchester. We waive costs for people attending the hospital for certain treatments and those who are on qualifying benefits can also claim back travel costs from the hospital which includes the car park fee. There is a debate nationally whether car parking charges should be prohibited. I acknowledge your point that NHS services should be free at the point of care but car parking is just one service within the NHS where charges apply, others include prescription charges, dentistry and optical care. It is true that this was one of the founding principles of the NHS in 1948, which I believe was the point you were making; however, I do not believe car parking was ever envisaged as being the issue it has become. With little more than 3 million cars on the road and less than 15% of households having access to a car when the NHS was founded, compared to nearly 30 million cars and over 75% of households with access to a car today. All services including hospitals need to provide car parking to cope with this demand and this costs money. Salford Royal, like all NHS hospitals in England does not get special funding to provide car parking. If we were to remove charges, we would still have to meet the costs of providing car parking and that would have to come out of hospital funds which most people would agree should be spent on patient care. As such, we will continue to charge for parking but will also continue to offer support for those who require it.

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