"Fast, smiling service, rubbish parking"

About: Freeman Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics The Royal Victoria Infirmary

(as the patient),

Over 2 days I had a series of tests, bone density scans, and a couple of clinician appointments at Newcastle Upon Tyne Metabolic bone unit. Great service.

Consultant extremely pleasant and took time to explain my condition and how treatment would progress, Left feeling much reassured. And in each case I was seen ahead of my appointment time. So all in all, first class.

Except car parking -at both the RVI and the Freeman hospitals I was unable to find a wheelchair accessible space and in both cases had to park far away and run the risk of a parking ticket.

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Responses

Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your kind comments in respect of the service you experienced within the Metabolic Bone Unit. As an organisation we aspire to the highest standards at all times and are delighted to get such feedback about the staff and your care. Your comments have been passed onto the Department involved, who will be encouraged by your kind remarks.

In respect of car parking, it is disappointing to hear that you were unable to find an accessible parking space and we apologise for the inconvenience that this caused you. The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has invested in significant improvements over recent years to provide improvements to disabled parking on the Freeman Hospital and RVI site. This has resulted in an increased provision on both sites and I can assure you that in future, as the site is redeveloped and ongoing building activity is completed, there will be a further improvement in the provision of disabled bays for the general public. Disabled parking spaces are currently sited in the main car parks and within other designated areas. We do appreciate that some of these areas may not be the most direct route for the department you are visiting and demand for ‘Blue badge’ parking is very high. If visitors are unable to find a disabled parking space, parking is available in the main car park at the standard rate.

Update posted by wheelchairstuntpilot (the patient)

Thanks for responding - much appreciated.

Have you considered Liftshare (the car pooling people)? They are trying to get hospitals involved in their scheme so perhaps it might be worth talking to them to see if they can help: https://www.liftshare.com/uk/

Response from Sacha Billett, Marketing Manager, liftshare

Thank you for your comment. We work with over 100 NHS Trusts helping them to allievate parking problems. You can read about more about what we do here https://www.liftshare.com/nhs/cs_GWH.asp . Kind regards Liftshare Team

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Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for the information. The Trust has a Green Transport and Staff Benefits Advisor who has implemented a travel plan which includes a carshare scheme for staff. This scheme aims to alleviate single car occupancy.  We have passed the information regarding the ‘Liftshare’ scheme that you have mentioned to him.