"Appalled by car parking charges"

About: Wansbeck Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My 69 year old mother has recently undergone an operation on her foot rendering her incapacitated for several weeks. My 73 year old father has been responsible for her care during this period and this included following up all post op appointments.

In February 2014 my mother had her first post op appointment to check that everything was fine. My father struggled to find an available car parking space and was advised by hospital staff to use the ambulance bays due to the fact that my mother could not walk.

My father was then tasked with locating and retrieving a wheelchair, accompanying my mother to her appointment and then assisting her back to the car.

I am absolutely appalled that during this stressful period in their lives they have received a parking charge. People using a hospital are generally there due to ill health or visiting ill relatives and it is inconceivable that people are preyed upon in this way.

I will be appealing this decision and I will also be contacting the media and our MP to assist in this matter.

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Responses

Response from Annie Laverty, Director of Patient Experience, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Annie Laverty

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for getting in touch and allowing us to learn about your parents' recent experience when attending the orthopaedic clinic at Wansbeck. I am sorry about the lack of available parking spaces on the day, and for any frustration caused by the receipt of a penalty notice from Parking Eye. I can appreciate why this feels unfair when you were encouraged to use the ambulance bays.

I am also very sorry that your Father didn't receive the help he needed to assist your Mother. We wouldn't want any of our patients to have to struggle to and from the car in the way your parents did.

I would very much like to take this matter up on your behalf and would be grateful if you could get in touch with me directly. My email is annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk - I am sure we will be in a position to resolve things quickly.

With kind regards,

Annie

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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 Sir/Madam,

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,

Annie

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Update posted by cms1 (a relative)

Dear Annie

I am delighted that this action has been taken. I have encountered many people who have had similar experiences to my parents and it has been an extremely stressful period for them. Unfortunately many do not complain and end up financially burdened at a time when they have more important issues to deal with.

Many thanks for updating me with this information.

Kind Regards

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

picture of Annie Laverty

Not at all - it's a pleasure. I felt it was really important to get back in touch with all the people that had taken the time to share their experiences of the new system. I wanted you to know that your views really do matter to the Trust.

If something concerns you, then it concerns us - we want to listen and do what we can to ensure the service we provide is as good as it can be at all times.

Thanks again for your part in helping us change,

Annie

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