"parking penalty"

I had an appointment at Newsam centre for 26/5/15,I parked in a bay that I presumed was for visitors as straight ahead of me was a large sign marked visitors,maximum stay two hours,to the right of me was a car partly obscuring another sign which was at an angle slightly away from me, same colour as the one straight ahead of me so I presumed that it was the same wording,when I arrived back at my car I was shocked and angry that I had a parking ticket for £70 or £35 if paid within 14 days,considering that these bays adjoin the visitor bays it is easily mistaken for a legitimate parking spot,especially when one has other problems on their mind.I am 73 years of age with physical,emotional problems and find it difficult to make ends meet without the addition and worry of getting a penalty charge.I say that it is deplorable that the hospital authorities who employ these "rogue" companies to issue parking tickets to people in a vulnerable state of mind, they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so.A more acceptable way would be to have meters or at least clear warnings on appointment letters as regards parking restrictions.When I telephoned the ticket issuing company they were very curt,I was not abusive to them and was told they would only accept written appeals before slamming the phone down on me, I did this by recorded delivery but I don't hold out much hope,I have also written to my local MP regarding the situation.

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Response from Clare Blackburn, PALS, Complaints & Claims Manager, Leeds and York NHS Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Sheaf

Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns on Patient Opinion. We are sorry to hear that you feel your experience was unhelpful. Nevertheless, we are grateful for you bringing it to our attention.

I have forwarded your concerns onto our site manager for the Newsam Centre who will be able to provide you with a response to the concerns you have raised.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss your concerns further then please do so via our PALS service who can be contacted on 0800 0525790 or e-mail pals.lypft@nhs.net

Clare Blackburn

PALS & Complaints Manager

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Response from Leeds and York NHS Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Sheaf

Thank you for your feedback and please be assured that the Trust take feedback seriously and will take appropriate action when necessary.

The company you refer to have been employed by the Trust in order to try to ease some of the burden of parking at the Newsam Centre. Their role is to ensure that the visitor parking bays are used correctly (less than 2 hours) thus allowing a regular changeover of short term parking. Also to ensure that blue badge bays are not abused and to ensure that only Trust staff use the permit allocated bays and not staff from other NHS organisations. In a less than ideal situation this was the best solution we could come up with; it aims to ensure that visitors and blue badge holders have dedicated and protected spaces (something that previously did not exist) and that our own staff can attend to our service users.

Would you be happy to let me have your ticket number (Parking Charge Notice). You can email it to me on pals.lypft@nhs.net. It will begin LH followed by 4 digits. Once we have that I will ask UKPS for the photos and ask a site manager from another site to review. If you have appealed already it is quite possible that UKPS are preparing to send it to me already.

I am sorry to hear that your experience of our Trust was not one that we would expect.

Kind regards

Jason Mitchell

Waste & Environmental Management