Savernake hospital bosses use up patients’ parking
8:00am Monday 17th March 2014 in By Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey
Patients were forced to cancel their appointments at Savernake Hospital because the majority of parking spaces were taken up by hospital directors.
The 15 directors were at the hospital for a morning meeting on Wednesday and had been asked to park at Marlborough Town Football Club where a car was waiting to take them up to Savernake. But only two obeyed.
The hospital pays the football club to use the car park. Transport up to Savernake is also paid for.
The meeting was due to finish at 10.30am but went on until 12pm, causing disruption for patients.
Enid Mitchell, of the High Street, Burbage, took a friend to the hospital at around 10am but the man, who is in his nineties, had to change his appointment because there was nowhere to park.
Between six and ten cars were circling the community hospital car park when 70-year-old Mrs Mitchell arrived with her friend and after half an hour of trying to find a space she gave up.
Mrs Mitchell, who worked at the hospital as a radiographer for 20 years, said: “There was pandemonium. There was nowhere to park and I couldn’t even stop to let my friend out.
"In the end I sent the elderly gentleman into the hospital so he could cancel his appointment because there was no transport to get him home and as I couldn’t park I couldn’t stay.”
A member of staff at the hospital said directors will be meeting at Savernake every month. The next meeting is on April 2 when there could be as many as 25 directors at the hospital.
Mrs Mitchell said: “It’s frustrating the parking spaces were taken by people who ought to know better. The porter was outside doing his best to direct traffic but there was nowhere to go.”
Staff at the hospital said a number of patients had to cancel their appointments because of the chaos. Patients complained to hospital staff who became frustrated that they could do nothing about the situation.
Roger Thomas, interim director of estates and facilities management at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We do have an offsite parking facility available for staff, together with a shuttle service, and we are working on increasing the use of this facility by generating better awareness of it and also recruiting an additional driver to transport staff more effectively to and from the hospital.
“Last Wednesday it seems that not all staff visiting the hospital were aware of this offsite parking facility and that led to the onsite car park becoming full.
"This was a one-off, and we apologise to patients and visitors who were unable to park that morning, and for any inconvenience caused.”