"I attend VIN three times a week ..."

About: Victoria Infirmary (Northwich)

(as the patient),

What I liked

I attend VIN three times a week for treatment and find it really good. The dept I attend gives me flexibility of appointments.I am treated really well by all the staff.It is a fine hospital doing a great service to the people of and surrounding areas of Northwich.

What could be improved

I am able bodied and come usually by public transport so the parking does not affect me.Disabled people who may have a new car every 4 or 5 years to drive round in are mostly living on very low incomes and cannot afford the parking fees.Some of these people have been using there blue badges and parking on the road outside the hospital.someone has put traffic cones on the road forcing these disabled people to use the car park, because they obviously cannot park further away because of their disabilities.Some of the cones are marked VIN security,some Hotel services but none are marked Police.Who and why have these cones placed here.If the Police have not been involved Ibelieve it is illegal for anyone else to do this.Thank you I await your reply

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Response from Dawn Snape, PALS Manager, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The provision of Blue Badges is regulated by Cheshire County Council. The Blue Badge Scheme is a national arrangement of parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or passengers. The scheme also applies to people who are registered blind or severely sight impaired, and people with very severe disabilities in both arms who regularly drive a vehicle but cannot operate or have considerable difficulty in operating all or some types of parking meter. Security Services at the Victoria Infirmary are responsible for ensuring that we have a safe traffic flow around the hospital site for patients, visitors and staff. It is also essential that the access road entering the site is kept clear at all times to ensure safe emergency vehicle access, such as the fire brigade and emergency ambulances. There have been a number of incidents recently where the access point has been restricted to one lane as a result of vehicles parking on the roadside on yellow lines. While the Blue Badge does permit parking for up to three hours on single and double yellow lines this is on the understanding that the vehicle does not cause an obstruction. The parked cars have caused an obstruction to access to the hospital, and, as I'm sure you can appreciate, this has an obvious effect on vehicles attempting to enter the site and threatens the safety of pedestrians. It is for this reason, therefore that the traffic controlling measures have been introduced. On Thursday October 16, the Northwich Security Service placed a row of cones along the access road to reduce the numbers of vehicles using the area for parking. Decisions such as this are made to ensure the site is accessible and are only enforced by Trust employees on Trust property, which is within the bounds of the law. Patients on a low income or in receipt of certain types of benefit or pension may be able to receive help with the cost of parking and necessary travel to hospital for NHS treatment. Further information is available from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) or from our Cashier on 01270 612313 Patients requiring renal dialysis or long-term cancer treatment are not charged for parking. Visitors coming into hospital to collect death certificates are also exempt from parking charges. Relatives of longer-stay patients at VIN have the option of purchasing a weekly permit, which entitles them to significantly reduced parking rates. The permit allows seven days unlimited parking on any of the public car parks at the hospitals. In order to receive discounted parking, relatives are asked to complete a form, available from ward staff or via the Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust website . At the Victoria Infirmary, permits can be purchased from the Administration Office, on the ground floor of Verdin House. The office is open from 8.45am until 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am until 4.30pm on Fridays. Please note, the office is closed for lunch from 12.30 – 1pm. We also provide a 20-minute drop-off allowance to enable drivers to exit the car park without being charged. This allows relatives or friends to come onto the site to drop off patients, staff or visitors. Pay phone facilities are available in reception areas to arrange for a return lift home. The Trust Security Officers will endeavour to help wherever possible so should you require any further information relating to the area concerned please visit them on site within the Verdin House entrance (adjacent to the General Office) or contact them on 01606 564090. In addition, you can discuss any of the information above with the travel coordinator on 01270 273374.
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