"Wrongly fined for parking"

About: Aldershot NHS Outpatients

(as the patient),

We arrived and parked in Aldershot hospital disabled parking bay - my husband is disable and we clearly displayed the Blue badge! we were in the hospital 1 hour and about 1 week later we received a parking ticket for £60! ! !

Why! ! ! I cannot get an answer from the number quoted also sent email and got no reply! ! ! !

Is this a scam just so we will pay up otherwise it goes up to £100 in a weeks time! ! !

HELP! ! !

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Responses

Response from Claire Marshall, Head of Patient Involvement, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Claire Marshall

Hi Coogee

I'm really sorry to hear that. I'll find out who manages the car park at Aldershot Centre, and come back to you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Claire

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Response from Claire Marshall, Head of Patient Involvement, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

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Dear Coogee

I've spoken to our team and the situation is a little bit complex. We only rent rooms at Aldershot Centre for Health and so we don't own the building or run the car parking. The building is owned by NHS Property Services and they subcontract the car parking arrangements to a company called Smart Parking.

Here is a statement from NHS Property Services regarding the changes in car parking

"Smart Parking has managed the car park at Aldershot Centre for Health since 2014. Prior to August this year there was a pay-and-display system in operation which was presenting countless time-consuming and stress-provoking problems for both Patients and Staff. Prior to the installation of the Smart Parking ANPR system some of the difficulties experienced on-site were:

· Some motorists stayed beyond the time they had paid for

· Some motorists abused the site to use nearby facilities, including the cinemas and fast food restaurants.

· Resulting in less spaces available for patients who needed them.

· When issues arose Aldershot Centre for Health had to physically find and speak to the car park attendant, making it difficult to quickly resolve issues.

· Patients couldn’t extend the time they had paid for, causing them considerable inconvenience if their appointments were delayed, or if they needed to stay for further tests and so on.

In light of this situation it was decided to put in a new system known as ANPR – automatic number plate recognition. This has had considerable benefits and transformed the experience for patients.

· Most importantly parking and the ability to find a parking space has improved massively. Patients can now find a parking space and complaints have reduced significantly.

· The car park is now used almost exclusively by patients, and not by motorists using nearby facilities. The result, again, is more spaces available for the people who really need them.

· The Aldershot Centre for Health now have access to a dedicated account manager, who can resolve issues quickly, and provide easy access to the latest facts and figures.

· The workload has been passed to Smart Parking Head Office which allows the staff at Aldershot to concentrate on their day-to-day issues.

· P & D Revenue for the hospital has increased which gives a direct positive benefit on the other facilities and funding available for Patients..

· The new system allows patients to top up and extend their parking if they need to.

Like any changes or amendment, an introduction of a new parking system has been viewed with caution by a minority of motorists who visit Aldershot Health Centre.

Everything possible has been done to minimise these issues. There are 45 signs in the car park advising of the new system. There are banners at the car park entrances alerting motorists. In addition, leaflets have been distributed to the reception desk and all staff departments.

Smart Parking offer a fair and open-minded Appeals procedure to all Motorists. If the Motorist is unhappy with our decision making they can then turn to the independent appeals service (ombudsman) POPLA who then make an un-biased decision on the facts provided to them. Smart parking always abide by POPLA decisions.

The new car park system is already working extremely well for the overwhelming majority of patients. Our experience would suggest that the small number of issues will reduce further as more people use the car park.

The benefits of the new system are clear. More patients can now find a parking space at the time they need it, and the system gives them flexibility to extend their stay if they need to. For the overwhelming majority of patients, the new system is a major improvement to their experience of visiting the Aldershot Centre for Health."

I'm sorry that I am unable to help you directly with this and suggest you contact the Aldershot Centre for Health Manager to take forward your case.

Kind Regards

Claire Marshall

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Update posted by Coogee (the patient)

Thank you Claire for your reply! I am just frustrated as we have been to this hospital a few times before and just find the disabled parking bay, leave blue badge on the windscreen, then leave the car parked, We did not look around for any notices, as we just did what we had previously done before.