"Staff are great. Parking facilities are horrible"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

What I liked

The staff were cordial and professional.

What could be improved

Parking. The parking situation was terrible. You have to Pay to park in the emergency area. While I realize that this is "normal" as one staff member explained, it's shocking & appalling to arrive at a hospital in an emergency situation & be confronted with threatening signage. The services are horrible. The parking payment machine does not accept bills, nor does it give change. So, not only is in inconvenient, it's also exploitive. Worse, there are no places to get change. A staff member referred me tot he hospital restaurant, & once I arrived there, the restaurant staff was not able to give me any change. They were polite, but firm that she did not have enough change to offer me. When I purchased tea, & she opened the till, it was clear that she was just concerning herself by not offering any change. it was sickening to see because it was clear that even staff have the same parking issues, so this discourages even minor solidarity between patients & staff, such that this lady could not even give change for a 10 pound note, & even refused to give change for 1 pound since the parking machine costs 2.40/per hour, so I wasted another 60p.

Anything else?

Even worse, one staffer explained to me that staff either plan to arrive 30 mins early just to chase down parking, for which they must pay out of their salaries. And if there are no spaces, they have to pay- additionally- for public parking & do not get reimbursed. The stress of that must diminish the quality of service they are able to offer. More often, the staff explained, staffers call in late for their shifts because of parking. My concern is that that if I arrive at A&E, the staff member that could save my life could be roaming around the parking lot, or arrived stressed over the horrid situation. This is unacceptable & there are several areas where this could be improved. Certainly A&E needs ample free, accessible parking. But even a change machine would help. Or excess change in the restaurant. Simple things.

Story from NHS Choices

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