"The prompt and conclusive attention ..."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The prompt and conclusive attention I received on by the clinical staff has always been exemplary.

What could be improved

Immediate action when fault has been found.

Anything else?

I had a consultant appointment at PAH in October 2009, for which I arrived well in advance as I had to leave to work 35 miles outside of Harlow immediately after the visit. I searched in vain for a free parking space but to no avail. 10min before the appointment time, I found an unobstrusive spot within quick reach of my consultant's office. I returned to my car 20min later only to find that I had been ticketed, penalty of £40. My present financial predicament has lead me to live on a shoestring budget so £40 is an extortionate amount for short space of time.

I wrote to the relevant persons at the Trust explaining my predicament, to which the replies only seem to rebuff all my attempts at attaining a resolution, with that I am left feeling more harassed and violated.

There seems to be an element of aloof "quangoism" which has now left me feeling increasingly disgruntled. The Service Level Agreements (SLA's) which the Trust has in place with the "Extort" Parking Services company seems like a licence to fleece it's patients and visitors at any opportunity. The element of "Service" incorporated in both PAH & the SLA is grossly lacking.

More about:

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your comments. Every effort is taken to inform patients and visitors of the pay and display fees and facilities via the signage on site and on our website. This service is provided by an external company, as you state, and their staff are willing to assist anyone who is experiencing difficulties parking their vehicle. There are also a number of off site car parks within a short walking distance.

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