"Why are they so negative?"

About: Ormskirk & District General Hospital Southport & Formby District General Hospital / Respiratory medicine

(as the patient),

I regularly visit Ormskirk and Southport hospitals for treatment as I have emphysema. I have a blue badge as I have difficulty in walking very far without getting out of breath. So in May 09 I visited Ormskirk Hospital and did my normal routine expecting to just show my blue badge on the way out to the car park attendant and be expected to be able to get out of the car park. I went to the clinic appointment, walked back to the car, drove to the barrier to find no one there and no button to press to let me out. I had to re-park the car and walk back into the hospital to the reception desk and get my blue badge and ticket re punched. He was not there and I was told to go back to the car park and he would be there to let me out. I walked all the way back to the car park and the attendant was not there. Eventually I walked back and forth and found him, got my blue badge punched and was allowed out. I am on oxygen at home and I kept having to sit down and lean on the walls to get my breath back.

In June I visited Southport Hospital and found that they have this new system so took a friend with to help me. I took my blue badge with me to my appointment and showed it to the person at the desk to find out how I get it punched. They did this for me; all was working well. When it came to leaving the car park we put the ticket in the barrier and it would not go up and we were stuck there for a long time. My friend had to walk back to the hospital and get someone to help us. If I had been on my own it would have been very difficult.

Also when you enter the car park they have placed the ticket machines at a very awkward angle so from inside of the car you are not able to easily reach it. Even people that were not disabled were struggling to reach the ticket machine. If someone like me is disabled or ill and trying to receive treatment in hospital, why is parking made so difficult? There is no thought given to letting patients know about the changes and how this will affect them.

Also at my outpatients appointments for emphysema I always ask has there been any developments and progression in new inhalers, medication etc to help me. I went onto the internet and researched into a new inhaler. They just say “no”, no change and are really negative as if there will never be a cure so live with it. I know there is no cure, but why be so negative about new treatment? In the end I spoke to my GP who prescribed me with a new inhaler.

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Response from Matthew King

Dear Note503,

I am sorry you have had difficulty with the new car parking arrangements for blue badge holders that were introduced following discussions and agreement with our Disability Access Group. We have many positive comments from disabled car users who have said they are having less difficulty finding a parking space since the changes. There are notices at the entrance to all the car parks instructing blue badge holders how to get their ticket validated to enable them to park for free.

Regarding your comment about the outpatients clinic, it is a little difficult for me to comment, as I clearly do not know which consultant team you are under. If you would like to write to The Trust with more details this can be looked at in greater detail.

I hope you do not have the same problem next time you come to the hospital as you now know you should get your ticket validated at the main entrance.

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