"Some good points, some bad"

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

Today we visited the hospital for my wifes pre-assessment for surgery, the first issue we had was parking, my wife is a disabled person in a wheelchair and we ended up having to park in the 20 minute drop off bay for 3 hours due to no disabled parking bays, the parking is abysmal and needs addressing as a matter of priority. Then we went up for her appointment on the surgical pre-assesment unit, where the staff seemed to be fantastic, very friendly and put her mind at rest about surgery, as well as been very understanding about her physical disability as well as her autism. The only issue we had is she is having surgery tomorrow and all the staff seem very vague on whether I can be there for her while she awaits to be taken.in for her operation. Not great when you are trying to prepare an autistic adult for something that is scary as it is. Still unsure, even now amd she is in at 7.15 in the morning. Then lastly we went off to Hollies Restaurant after our appointmemt for a meal and drink, I stood nearly twenty minutes waiting for a staff member to serve the sandwhiches, I had to ask them three times before they bothered, then they put my meat panini in a vegetarian panini grill, menaing it was cross contaminated, this was after they had served my wifes hot meal which was sitting getting cold by then, Then we got to the tills, and were suddenly told that the card machine wasnt working. Despite using this restaurant plenty of times in the past with the same staff and always paying by card they never thought to inform us before the meals were served. I then asked where the cash machine was and was told that this wasnt working either. They said we would have to leave the food and it would just be thrown away as wastage. However as we were walking away we witnessed them tip the sausages off my wifes plate back into the servery tray, By this point my wife was starving and we left to eat at Morrisons, but as we left the hospital we saw someone using the cash machine, and mentioned to a receptionist that "They had gotten that fixed quickly" who informed us it had never been broken. We then returned to our car and struggled to get in due to the tightness of cars next to us, in fact one vehcile had to pull out to allow me to get in before pulling back in, had he not have been still with his vehicle we would have been trapped not because of his parking but just the size of the spot and limited disabled bays. I wouldnt recommend this hospital for the parking and restaurant, although so far the department staff havnt been too bad, but I feel they should be more clear about carers and the rights of disabled people to have thier carer present. As far as the restaurant is concerned I will never eat here again

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit with your wife for her pre-assessment at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experiences on this occasion and we will make sure your feedback is passed to the managers for Hollies Restaurant, Car Parking and also the Pre-Assessment Unit.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you and if you would like to contact us with your name and some more details it would enable the Matron/Manager to look into your concerns for you.

If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774.

If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is cdda-tr.patientexperiencecddft@nhs.net

If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website.

The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients.

Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices.

Patient Experience Team

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 0800 7835774

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