"Lovely hospital - disgraceful parking set-up - I..."

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

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I have lost count of how many times I have been to this hospital, either as a patient, accompanying my children or as a visitor. The vast majority of times I have been incredibly impressed, especially with the maternity department, childrens ward and audiology department. The staff are outstanding, professional, caring and understanding. However in October I attended an outpatients appointment. I drove into the car park I normally use and as the token machine was still there but looked broken I just thought that I had struck lucky and hit a day when the parking system was out of order. I didn't notice if the barrier was there or not and I saw no signs indicating any other method of payment was in operation. A few days later I received a letter and a fine off a 'company' called Parking Eye. The fine was £40, raising to £70 if not paid within 14 days. It also stated that if you appeal the fine will be frozen. I appealed the fine on the day I received the letter but the charge has still gone up to £70. This is daylight extortion. The signs in the car park are are not clear and not compliant with the BPA code of practice. This change in parking charging should be well sign-posted, especially in a hospital when people aren't thinking clearly, are frequently stressed and preoccupied, and are also used to the old system. The new payment system is complicated and as you have to pay in advance is a disgusting method of extorting money from people, either by an overpayment (due to an over estimate or stay time) or by a fine when people underpay (as are held up by waiting times). I am furious about the change in parking system and would love to know the motivation behind it, given that the old system seemed to work perfectly. I really feel like I have been robbed. £70 in this climate is a huge sum of money and I would prefer to have given it to the hospital as a donation. I have never said a bad word about NTGH and in discussion with people, frequently rave about it. What a shame that this parking robbery has negatively coloured my opinion.

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Helen I really sorry to read about your experience of the new parking system. We would never want any of our patients to feel that they are having money taken from them unfairly. I would like to see if we can help, please email me at Joanne.Mackintosh@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk We are aware that some of our patients are experiencing difficulties using the new system and we are currently working really hard to bring about some changes that will improve the current situation. Thank you for your very kind recognition of the high quality of care that the staff at North Tyneside Hospital provide and for being one of our strong supporters. I will look forward to hearing from you via my email. Best Wishes Jo

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

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Dear Helen,

Just to update you that 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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