"safety issues outside Main Building"

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital

There seems to be a complete lack of staff action regarding safety issues on the plaza at the entrance to Main Building. Having spent 50 minutes driving to the hospital to collect a day patient at hospital staff request direct from the treatment area, there was no signage on Hilton Road indicating the route to Main Building. After several wrong turns into other entrances I discovered that it was on the City General site even though website says the complex is called 'University Hospital'. I then spent another 15 minutes driving around trying to find the 20 minute pick-up point listed on the website. No-one has bothered to put a sign on the building works fence to indicate a left turn |(on a very sharp bend) onto the plaza. What a chaotic scene as drivers suddenly turned left. Drivers including myself were slowly going around the plaza trying to find the drop-off point parking with ambulances on our tail. All the signage says 'no parking ambulances only'. After doing several circles I parked up in an ambulance space. On asking reception staff (cheerless environment) where the parking was (no parking attendant) I was told 'out there'. Trying to get further clarification as to the precise location of parking spaces was impossible. However I was assured that I could leave the car where it was. Staff told me that they couldn't do anything about the situation. I had the same reply from the departmental staff who told me it was the responsibility of another company. Both sets of staff said they had had a lot of complaints. I left with the impression that the management have a complete disregard for the health of drivers (stress and tiredness levels), unsafe exiting/entrancing from/into vehicles into the path of oncoming 'confused' vehicles and ambulances, vehicle accident safety and environmental pollution from cars being driven needlessly. What has 'another company' got to do with it? I thought all employees have a responsibility for a safe environment. It is incredible that there isn't a single member of NHS staff who is capable of producing laminated paper signage and attaching it securely to fencing and posts while management hunt for funds to purchase 'proper' signs. The planning oversight can be rectified quite easily and immediately so why haven't managers responded to previous complaints? The building didn't open yesterday.

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Response from Trust HQ

May I first of all apologise for any inconvenience or uncertainty that this may have caused during your recent visit to the Trust As I am sure you will appreciate, the re-development of the hospital site has brought many challenges and a complex logistical transformational project - with building work, building demolitions, car park redevelopments, roadway alterations and associated street furniture being altered and adjusted over a protracted period of time. The Trust has communicated all site alterations by the use of on-site temporary signage, in addition to illustrative site maps which are distributed with patient letters and information, and are shown on the UHNS website. I can advise that the area to which you refer will shortly be completely remodelled, with a programme of works that will include new access roads, together with a change of usage at the main entrance, to facilitate more Disabled parking bays and short stay drop-off car parking bays. I can further advise that the new roads will provide new street furniture, and will also include the provision of permanent way-finding signage. In the meantime, and in response to your concerns, I will arrange for my colleagues within the Trusts Estates department, to audit the signage on this part of the site, and install additional signage where and if required. Once again, my apologies for any inconvenience cause during your visit, and thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to my attention. Mark Fisher Head of Facilities Management University Hospital of North Staffordshire

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