"Parking/Clinic/Elderly Care"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Clinical haematology

(as a relative),

My mother had an appointment inJanuary (prior to being diagnosed with Dementia) and it was an extremely distressing afternoon for her and for me. As I am sure you are aware that Ninewells is extremely busy, even on a quiet day, but apparently Wednesday is one of the busiest days.

I drove my mother who is nearly 90 to Ninewells. she is unable to walk on her own as she is very unsteady on her feet needs to use her stick and have someone's arm to hold when walking. I had to stop at the drop off near the main entrance and get her out of the car and get her a seat beside the bus stops. I then had to leave her there and go and try and find a parking place.

By the time I got back round to the 1st level car park there were 15 visible cars in front of me waiting for a parking space, well now you are in the que you can’t get out again and try an alternate car park, so I was stuck for 20 minutes before I eventually got parked. After about 15 minutes someone in a HiViz jacket appeared and looked around the sitting traffic but did nothing to alleviate the problem - perhaps if he had appeared 30 minutes prior there would not have been such a backlog of cars waiting for a space!

I ran back down to the bus stop area to collect my mother who was by this time absolutely freezing despite having her big coat, boots and gloves. She was also very distressed and upset at having to sit there for so long – she didn’t know if I had just left her there or if I was coming back for her, all very upsetting for us both, so I had to calm her down and reassure her everything was fine.

Due to the time I had spent trying to get parked I couldn’t take her for a cup of tea to try to heat her up before the clinic as we were now running late. I sat her down and went to reception and advised we had arrived. 2 minutes later she was taken through to be weighed and we sat down again, 2 minutes later I was told to take her back up the corridor to have blood taken, we sat there for approx. 10 minutes, then, when we did go through to have her blood taken, they were unable to find a vein as she was still so cold there were none visible. She had to sit for about 5 minutes running her hand under the hot water to try to get some heat through her body.

A pin prick of blood later we then had to go back to the clinic and wait to be seen, which was almost immediately. After a 5 minute chat with the doctor, that was it. We had to go back to the drop off point and, again I have to leave her sitting in the cold while I went and got the car and come back to collect her, having to take my jacket off and wrap that round her legs to try to keep her warm and reassuring her I would only be 5 minutes this time.

When I got back there was a que of cars dropping people off and collecting people again and I had to wait until someone left so I could get a space to collect her and help her into the car.

Surely there must be some other way to treat elderly infirm people attending clinics - my Mother was not the only one being dropped off and collected. Not everyone can have 2 people attend so one can walk an elderly patient into the hospital while the other parks the car.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››