About: Wansbeck Hospital

What could be improved

I visited my relative in this hospital today (4/10/11) for the twelfth time in last month, The parking charges and lack of parking during visiting times has been an ongoing frustration.

I work in Ashington and have been rearranging my lunch hour to visit my relative. On several occasions it has taken so long to find a parking space that I only have 10 or 15 minutes left in which to visit.

The 80pence per hour charge at the non change giving machines seems like a cynical and underhand scam, designed to force must car park users to find the correct change or pay the 20pence surcharge for using one coin £1.

I visited the hospital this evening, spend 20 minutes looking for a space, went to the machine with the correct 80p change only to find that the parking costs had gone up 50% to £1.20 (if my maths is right) the only other money that I had was a 10 pound note, no shops or cafe were open at the hospital. I had to drive back into Ashington buy something to make the change, returned to car park , another 20 minutes trying to park - result twenty minutes visiting time spent in a ward with most of the other visitors also fuming about the car park charges.

I have not seen any signs or information about car park charges being increased, nor could I find anyone to complain to.

£1.20 another sneaky, nasty, devious way of conning extra money out of unsuspecting visitors

It wouldn't be so bad if the damned machines were set to give you a pro rata amount of parking time.

Funny; that all the visiting time in the hospital are 1 hour 30 minutes; but you are charged for 2 hours at £2.40 to park

Very disappointed

Paul Martin

Story from NHS Choices

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


Response from Wansbeck Hospital

The Trust has applied for planning permission this month to build a new car park to the south of the site, the access control and payment methods will be able to allow segregated staff and visitor parking with pay machines allowing for payment of time spent on site only and not a fixed rate.

It is hoped permission will be granted this year with a start on site early next financial year, the scheme will be over £1m in cost demonstrating a significant investment in parking requirements on the site also showing where the proceeds of parking are reinvested to improve the service.

We have also secured an agreement with Ashington football club whose ground is just outside the hospital entrance to use their car park, there are 43 places available and all members of the public are welcome to use this facility, it is only a few minutes’ walk to the hospital entrance a similar distance from the furthest spaces on our own car park.

This car park is free of charge to visitors and patients, it is patrolled by our security staff.

I have asked for further information to be put up on notice boards and around car parks for visitors and patients to be aware of its availability.

Can I apologise for your frustrations on this matter, I hope the above demonstrates that the Trust does listen and in fact actions solutions both in the short and long term to assist the service in delivering improvement.

Brian Griggs

Director of Estates & Facilities

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful