"Parking Eye!"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital / General surgery North Tyneside General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

I recently visited North Tyneside General to drop off my young nephew and his mother for a physiotherapy appointment. As it was to be a quick appointment I decided to stay in the car with my niece to avoid taking up spaces closer to the door for those that had no choice but to leave their vehicles. I stopped on the road outside of the car park by the main road/round about and waited there. I will add at this point that I didn't at any point enter a car park, cross under a barrier or see any signage regarding parking control in the area.

I have today however received a parking charge notice asking me for £70 or £40 with in 14 days from Parking Eye. I have to say I am really disappointed with this as there were no signs to advise me that payment was required, no ticket machine in sight and not even a sign to say that the area was a controlled parking area or that waiting was prohibited or I would not have used this area at all. I have tried to call Parking Eye, but of course there is only an automated line.

I have to say I would be very nervous in taking my car to North Tyneside General again due to it being run by such a ruthless private parking company, which is a shame as its almost entirely unavoidable to use the car given the frequency with which my nephew has to attend the hospital and that at times he finds walking painful after his visits.

Both myself and my family are finding this extremely stressful and worrying as I was trying to help out a family member financially as multiple trips to the hospital are costly as she doesn't drive and public transport is difficult from their area. Instead I now have a fine which she feels obliged to pay, making the situation even worse.

I must add however that the care that has been given to my nephew is first class and we have nothing but good reports for the care and nursing staff that he has regular contact with. Its just a shame that this is so massively overshadowed by a private company, using the hospital grounds to generate profit for themselves.

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Response from Joanne Mackintosh, Service Improvement Project Manager, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir/Madam

Firstly, I wanted to thank you for your very kind words relating to the care that your nephew has received from the staff at North Tyneside Hospital. I am really disappointed to learn that this has been overshadowed somewhat by the fact you have received a parking notice.

Waiting times in any part of the hospital grounds are provided free for the first 20 minutes. This allows time for pick-ups and drop offs without the need for payment. This may provide an explanation as to why you have received a parking notice?

I absolutely understand that you were supporting a member of your family with visits to the hospital and that you are now worrying that she feels obliged to pay the parking notice. I would really like to see if we can help, if you could contact me at Joanne.Mackintosh@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk

Best Wishes


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