"Crippling Car Parking"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

My 2 year old son was recently diagnosed with a malignant brian tumour for which we now have to go to the hospital every other week for chemotherpay for anywhere between 1 day and 7 days (and that doesn't include any emergency visits if he gets a temperature and infection). The nursing staff including doctors and play specialists that we deal with have been great with all of us, my main bug bear is parking; firstly it costs a fortune and secondly half the time you can't find a space. I can't use public transport if I am coming in with my son as we have to bring bags of stuff with him and if he is too tired to walk he also needs carrying, if I can't find a parking space in car park 1 then it is very difficult for me to get to the East Block. Half the time you find the car park filled with staff or contractor vehicles, I know they also need to park somewhere but surely other arrangements could be made for them? We have been getting a parking pass for £20 a month but when we are going to be in and out for over a year that starts to get expensive at a time you really can't afford it. Does the Macmillan campaign for free parking for cancer patients mean nothing to you? Surely you can see that you are penalising people for having ongoing life saving treatment where there is no other choice? The time we are going through at the moment is stressful enough without worrying about parking charges and if you can find a space. I was told that there were meant to be some spaces (about 5) just outside East Block that were free for cancer patients but no one that we have spoken to seems to know about it. Apparently you can park in front of the barrier then go up to the ward to get a pass to raise the barrier - 1) what do I do with my son during this time? Take him up and back down with me? 2) How do I get said pass when no one seems to know about it? 3) Can we not get a pass to keep in the car to be able to use this car park as we get there?

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience.

We are sorry to hear that you have been having problems with parking at our hospital, especially during what must be a difficult time for you.

We apologise profusely that it appears we have not properly communicated our policy of providing free parking for this group of patients, and importantly, how to access this. Please get in touch with us by emailing nuhcommunications@nuh.nhs.uk or calling 0115 9249924 x 62001 and we will make arrangements for you to get a free parking pass for car parks 1, 2 and 3 (our main patient and visitor car parks at QMC). We will ensure it is available for you on your next visit to QMC and will arrange for you collect this from main reception (we will arrange for you to park at main entrance in order to do so).

We have asked for a message to be sent out our wards and departments to remind colleagues to inform patients, parents and carers how to access free parking if they think this applies to their individual situation.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by building and improvement works around the QMC site presently. We are working hard with the site contractors to minimise disruption to patients, visitors, carers and staff.

The five barrier-controlled parking spaces on the perimeter road outside East Block entrance have been set up for use by frequently-visiting patients (those attending more than twice a week on either a short or long-term basis).

These spaces are generally used for children being treated for long term, chronic conditions, who may need to attend on a regular basis for short term treatments (such as Chemotherapy) or long term therapies, to help make access to the hospital during these periods as convenient as possible for them. Patients are given a card to enable them to park here, but you do not need to go up to the clinic to collect your parking card on every visit. Patients using these spaces are able to park in them in agreed time slots which are worked out to match with your appointment times – this is to make sure the maximum possible number of patients are able to make use of them.

Please ask at the next appointment you are attending with your son about being able to use these spaces when you are coming to hospital and we will discuss this with you in more detail.