"Parking madness"

About: Abingdon Community Hospital

This is not a review of the hospital treatment, which I have no complaints about, but the extreme lack of parking since the Health Centre made half of the car park private! I arrived with 10-15 minutes spare for my 2yr olds appointment. I actually went into the Health Centre by mistake and the receptionist simply said I will come out and let you out of the barrier with a token. I then drove around the entire hospital car park about 6 times, passing cars parked on double lines, observing able bodied people take disabled bays and noting cars parked blocking others in! Now late for my daughter's appointment (and still unsure which building it was in), I decided to simply go back into the car park by the Heath Centre which was nearly empty thinking I'll just have to explain and ask for a token. When I did so about 20 minutes later, the receptionist simply said that's a £25 fine. I was given the choice of paying by cheque, cash or taking an invoice (the wheel barriers preventing from me getting out of the car park without damaging my wheels). I made a cheque out to the main doctor and partners. Apparently there are signs warning me of the fine but clearly I was too distracted by worry and frankly exhausted by no sleep for a year due to daughter's illness. I was actually in angry tears as I wrote the cheque. Why are people who are likely to be distressed and somewhat vulnerable having this stress of no available parking at a hospital as a result of one NHS establishment and frankly being exploited by another NHS appointment?!! This must be happening daily or at least weekly. The parking problem must be a constant stress for patients and health workers every day. What is being done about it?

Story from NHS Choices

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