"Car Parking"

About: Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley)

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I went to Aldershot Centre for Health for some tests, which took about three hours. I was very nervous about the tests, and the news of the results were not as bad as they could have been, but they weren't exactly good news either. I had used the car park for the duration of this visit, and had mistakenly parked in a 'staff zone' of the car park. This 'staff zone' is on the bottom floor of the mutli-storey car-park, and it is very unclear signage that tells you when you are entering it - I missed it, and bought a normal ticket, for four hours, and went to my appointment - when I came out of my appointment I found I had a charge ticket for £60. I was unsure why at this stage, and so I located the car park attendant who showed me the poorly displayed signage. They is no other way of telling that you are parked on the 'staff' level, unless you happen to spot this sign. It feels very much like a 'trick' to charge unwitting users of the car park, who, let's face it, mostly probably have other issues on their minds when entering the hospital. I was very careful to buy a ticket for much longer than I thought I'd be in the hospital (just in case it over-ran, which it didn't) and my good intentions were slapped back in my face. So, now I have an illness and a parking ticket - not a great day.

It feels a little like the Aldershot centre for Health and their partners in the 'Town and City Parking' company have formulated a scheme to gather together all the poor and sick people in the area and to try and trick them into paying parking fines. This is not good. I am currently formulating a letter of complaint to the NHS and Hampshire County Council. However, I hope this is a good warning to anyone parking at the Aldershot Centre for Health - the care of the staff in the hospital is first class, but make sure you take the bus.

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Response from Frimley Park Hospital

Dear Nicholas Bragger. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Frimley Park Hospital leases part of the Aldershot Centre for Health from NHS Hampshire, which owns the building and manages car parking among other things, so that we can provide outpatient and diagnostic services in Aldershot. We meet with them regularly to discuss matters like this so we will make sure we bring your experience to their attention and will ask if anything can be done to improve the situation. We understand that appointments are sometimes very stressful for patients and we would not want anything to add to that stress.

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