"No complaints about staff...but..."

About: Royal United Hospital

The parking system and hospital layout are appalling! Probably the worst I've experienced locally. I was directed towards the new car park then after finding a space, followed signs which pointed both way for the pay machines, however, after walking up and down and asking other visitors, it was clear there were no pay machines! I went to reception, which was a long way from the new car park, to find out how to pay and was directed towards one single pay machine out the front of the main entrance After typing in my number plate, I realised it doesn't tell you how much to pay or how long you've actually been at the hospital! For family members and people who have come to visit, for whatever reason, no one visits the hospital for a fun day and it's often a distressing or emotional experience. Why then are people expected to remember exactly when they arrived so the correct amount can be paid on leaving? This is absolutely preposterous, as are the buttons on the machine, which are so small, anyone with a disability or with poor fine motor skills is going to find this incredibly difficult to use! I had to have someone help me in the queue to actually pay because I've never done it before and there were lots of different steps and types of buttons you have to press which don't even make logical sense unless you've done it once and manage to remember! Meanwhile, a queue was forming behind me because there was only one machine for the entire car park that I could see! I then had to find the right route back to the new car park and nothing is labelled on the signs so you have to know which ABCD etc number you're looking for and follow the number on the signs rather than department. I remembered that I entered near the endocrine department, however, this did not help me due to the unhelpful signs. I ended up following someone who I think was a junior doctor and asking them to help me out. Unfortunately, they didn't know because they were new but thankfully remembered vaguely where they were doing the building works and directed me towards that area which was the right way.

The whole experience was frustrating, the parking and layout/signage was a mess and I ended up paying £3 to park which, apart from being absolutely extortionate, may not even have been the correct fee. Add to that, nearly an hour of the parking fee covering me trying to find my way in and out and trying to find a way to actually pay for my parking and you can see what a shambles this system is! Several others trying to park agreed with me! I hope I never have to visit the RUH again, it was appalling it's very unfriendly for patients and their families to use the facilities and makes a stressful situation 100 times worse!

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Response from Royal United Hospital

I am so very sorry to read about your experience of car parking at the Royal United Hospital, Bath and the frustration and stress that this situation has caused.

We acknowledge that the implementation of this new car parking system has not been communicated as well as it could have been.

However, I would like to assure you that the hospital understands both your and other patients and visitors difficulties and has used the feedback we have received to improve the signage in and around the car parks.

The new signage and more parking machines have now been ordered.

If you would like us to respond to your concerns fully we would ask that you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01225 825656 or via email at ruh-tr.PatientAdviceandLiaisonService@nhs.net

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