"Concern about Parking Eye car park management at Wansbeck and Newcastle General"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital / General surgery Wansbeck Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Recently, I attended the Diabetic Clinic at Newcastle General Hospital for my six monthly check up. As I am disabled and have great difficulty walking, I parked in the disabled bay in front of the Diabetic Clinic. I have a blue badge and timer, which was prominently on display. After my appointment was over I returned to my car and went home.

A few days later, I received a parking charge notice from Parking Eye car park management, informing me I was being fined £70 for illegally parking outside the Diabetic Clinic.

I wasn't aware that the Newcastle General Hospital had changed over to this system as the hospital hadn't informed me, and as for reading the signs, because I am a diabetic and elderly it would have been impossible for me to read signs, which I have since found out have small letters and are placed high up.

I am already registered with Parking Eye, as I fell foul to the changeover to Parking Eye by Wansbeck Hospital over two years ago. They were just setting it up and the signs were not erected on the day I was accused of illegal parking. I was let off the fine and I registered my vehicle, both with the Estates Office at Wansbeck Hospital and by official form.

I feel that adopting the Parking Eye scheme is not entirely about illegal parking. I believe it is an easy way to collect money for the hospitals using the scheme.

I have looked at the so-called warning signs erected at Wansbeck Hospital and I find them unreadable. They are erected high up and printed with small unreadable letters; I believe they would be difficult for even young people with good eyesight to read and impossible for the elderly, or people with poor sight.

I know that parking is a problem in most hospitals, as there are just not enough spaces. I always go over half an hour early for my appointment to try and find a disabled parking space and this is often impossible, however I feel that these bully boy tactics by parking companies out to make money is not the answer.

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Responses

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

picture of Annie Laverty

Dear Rids,

I’d like to thank you very much for sharing your frustrations and bringing this to our attention. I obviously can only comment on the issues that relate to hospitals that are managed by Northumbria Healthcare.

I personally feel very grateful to all the patients and members of the public who have taken the time to raise their concerns about the new parking system.

As a Trust, Northumbria has taken these incidents very seriously indeed. It recently entered into urgent discussions with Parking Eye to find a way of addressing the problems and prevent any recurrence in the future.The outcome of this is that the Trust has 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.

With all best wishes,

Annie

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Response from Wansbeck Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam, I do hope that you were able to have the fine you received at Newcastle General Hospital reversed as you did when you visited Wansbeck Hospital. After listening to views and experiences of our patients we no longer have the ParkingEye system in place at any of our hospital sites including Wansbeck. This has also meant the replacement of the old signs. I am so sorry if you sometimes find it difficult to find an appropriate parking space. I do understand how frustrating and difficult this must be when you are wanting to arrive promptly for an appointment. Best Wishes Annie

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam, I am providing the same response to your concerns because they appear to be posted twice on the site. Thank you for taking the time to share your views. I do hope that you were able to have the fine you received at Newcastle General Hospital reversed, as you did when you visited Wansbeck Hospital. After listening to views and experiences of our patients we no longer have the ParkingEye system in place at any of our hospital sites including Wansbeck. This has also meant the replacement of the old signs. I am so sorry if you sometimes find it difficult to find an appropriate parking space. I do understand how frustrating and difficult this must be when you are wanting to arrive promptly for an appointment. Best Wishes Annie

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