"Attention and consideration received ..."

What I liked

Attention and consideration received by my mother once we arrived in the eye clinic.

What could be improved

I had not been to Maidstone hospital previously, on driving in the gate I was looking for signs directing me to the disabled parking (my mother is a wheelchair user), couldn't see any signs so I drove into the nearest car park with spaces (zone B?). Parked the car in a space on the end of a row to help with wheelchair access. To leave the car park with mum in wheelchair I needed to access a dropped kerb, couldn't find one and gave up after a few minutes. Stopped the chair by a post so that mum could hold herself up while I put the wheelchair onto the path. Arrived at the check in and waited (not for long just about 5 minutes) only to be told we should be upstairs, it didn't say that in the letter. The nearest lift was out of order (annoying but sometimes unavoidable) so pushed mum back to the entrance to use the lift there. When we finally arrived at the clinic the service from all the staff was good.

When we were leaving mum and I decided we would like a drink and a sandwich, we came across the restaurant and decided to go in. Trying to get the wheelchair through the doors was no easy task, I was just about to give up when someone came along and held a door open. The service, staff and refreshments were good. Leaving with a wheelchair is not easy but managable as long as the wheelchair user can hold one of the doors. It should be easy to go in and out of this facility whether or not one is able bodied.

Back to the car park! Still couldn't see wheelchair access, had to park mum and move the car as someone had parked too close for me to get her in. Spoke to the car park attendant about lack of disabled parking, he said to use ordinary spaces if no disabled parking left, I did!!!

For a hospital I found the disabled access disappointing. Generally speaking shopping centres are more disabled friendly can I suggest that those who planned the hospital and car parks go for a walk with a wheelchair.

Story from NHS Choices

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