"not very good, especially the parking"

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital

What I liked

Some of the staff had a very nice manner when actually dealing with people individually.

What could be improved

staff in the X ray department seemed more interested in chatting to each other than in treating patients who were queueing up waiting to be seen. We were moved from one waiting area to another with no explanation of what was going to happen next (and this was at a time when the hospital was quiet).

Anything else?

I have just received a letter from Parking Eye who have responsibility for the hospital car park. I've been reading up on them and they are a very unpleasant company who make their money by threatening people with fines which are not legally enforceable. If you get one of their letters read some of the advice available on line before you decide how to respond. It is shocking that the NHS is allowing companies like this to be involved in running their premises.

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from Sunderland Royal Hospital

Thank you for your comments, these will be passed on to our Radiology Department for action. We are aware that some people have experienced problems with the Parking Eye system and have issued the following statement below, which may assist with your issue.

The Trust has therefore introduced a new parking management system, the main aim of which was to try and provide easier parking for patients and visitors situated nearer to the Outpatient Department and main hospital entrances. Patients and visitors are able to park in any car park on the hospital site, with the Chester Wing and Surgical Day Case areas being patients/visitors only car parks – ie no members of staff are permitted to park in these areas unless they pay an additional fee on top of their monthly permit charge.

As with any new system, there have undoubtedly been some teething problems and the Trust is listening and evaluating comments received and will be making some changes to the system as a result of some of the difficulties members of the public have experienced.

We have received a lot of positive comments that it is much easier for patients and visitors to park, however the following points may be helpful for people coming on to our site:

• Blue Badge Holders – It is free to Blue Badger holders with a valid permit to park on any of our hospital sites. However, for someone coming on to the Sunderland Royal Hospital site, they must register their vehicle with our Security Staff. Individuals are able to do this from home before their visit (tel: 0191 569 9185) are at one of the dedicated telephones located at the main entrances. Since the scheme we have had over 3000 Blue Badge holders registered on the system. Once a Blue Badge holder has registered their vehicle, they do not need to register on any subsequent visits. We are putting additional signage on all disabled bays to alert drivers. If any Blue Badge holder has already received a parking charge notice, they should contact the Trust’s Security staff and the charge will be rescinded.

• If a patient or visitor comes on site and purchases a ticket but, for whatever reason, their stay is longer than anticipated if they purchase an additional ticket before they leave the site they will not receive a parking charge notice. (If an individual does not have change for the machine etc they can pay the additional car parking charge by telephone at home by contacting the following number: 0330 400 7275 and quoting “site number 8626”.

• All patients and visitors are reminded that when purchasing a ticket, they must enter the correct vehicle registration number into the ticket machine.

• The Trust has two free park and ride services for staff, patients and visitors. These services operate between Homebase at Silksworth and the Stadium of Light to the Chester Wing Outpatient Department.

The Trust recognises that there have been some problems with the new system and that has caused undoubted anxiety for a number of patients and visitors. We apologise for any distress caused but the Trust will look at each parking charge notice on an individual basis and rescind the charge should we feel it has been incorrectly issued. If you have been issued with a parking charge notice and feel this has been given unfairly, please contact the Trust’s Security team on 0191 569 9185.

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