"Clinical care to date fine but parking..."
Posted by Anonymous
The clinical care I received was very good, but the parking situation is not (which is inextricably linked to the experience of using the facility given the majority of people will drive to the health centre).
Charging for parking at an NHS facility is morally questionable in itself (esp. where no other reason to park there e.g. local shops nearby etc.), but what's clearly unacceptable is forcing people to pay in advance assuming they know how long they'll be at the clinic, as waiting times can obviously vary hugely and there's no way to know how long this will be in advance.
I ended up dashing in to ask reception if they knew how long the wait time was before paying for parking so I knew how much parking to pay for, and they advised 2 hours "to be on the safe side", even though my appointment was in 5 mins.
So people are often forced to pay more than they need to, or take the gamble of paying less and risking a subsequent fine.
Even one of the nursing staff during my visit described the parking arrangements as 'disgusting'.
If parking is going to be charged for, the pay on depature model (as per that at Frimley Park Hospital) should be used instead, given patients have no control over how long they'll be there.