Eight parking tickets for daughters at dying mum's bedside

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Sisters Sarah Fleming and Teresa Davidson from Carlisle, were given 8 parking tickets in the Cumberland Infirmary car park
Sisters Sarah Fleming and Teresa Davidson from Carlisle, were given 8 parking tickets in the Cumberland Infirmary car park

Two grieving daughters have spoken of their disgust after receiving a total of EIGHT parking tickets while sitting by the bedside of their dying mother.

Rosaleen Harris died on Christmas Day at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, aged 65.

But while her daughters Teresa Davidson and Sarah Fleming should have been making the most of their final days together, they said they were left battling with parking wardens.

Despite being given a special card to place in their car windows by hospital staff, attendants from UK Parking Control (UKPC) continued to issue £70 parking fines.

The two women, both from Carlisle, received a total of eight tickets between them in the space of a few days, despite repeated attempts to reason with the wardens.

Hospital bosses have now promised to rescind the tickets and speak to UKPC to avoid it happening to others.

But the daughters say it has added to their stress at a time when they should have been focused purely on their mum.

Rosaleen had been successfully battling cancer for about two years but took ill on December 21 and was rushed to hospital, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Her family dashed to her bedside, and were told the devastating news that she had reached the end of her life.

They stressed that her care, on Beech A, was fantastic and staff went out of their way to make those final days as easy as possible.

But the parking fines have left them reeling. Teresa said: “From the Thursday we stayed with her all night. We didn’t want to leave.

“The Macmillan nurse gave us laminated cards with blue swans on to put in our car windows. They mean you have a relative who is in end of life care and they should leave you alone. They are used all over the country but UKPC didn’t acknowledge them.”

Teresa even saw a warden put a ticket on her sister’s car and confronted him to explain. “He was so rude. Really insensitive,” she said.

Even after that the tickets continued to come, with Teresa getting a total of three and Sarah five.

“At one point we took one ticket off the windscreen to take into the hospital and by the time we got back there was another. They must’ve known it was the same car,” said Sarah. One of the doctors from the ward even accompanied the family to reception to try and explain the situation.

Although North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust runs the infirmary, its PFI partner Interserve – a private management firm – is responsible for the pay and display patient and visitor car parks. Earlier this year it brought UKPC in to enforce new charges.

The trust has now apologised to the family and promised that the sisters will not have to pay the fines, which add up to hundreds of pounds.

A spokesman said: “We would like to firstly offer our sincere condolences to the family for their loss. In addition, we are sorry that the family received a parking charge while visiting their mother.

“We are already in discussion with our PFI partner about how situations such as this can be avoided in the future and we will ensure the family do not have to pay for their parking charges.”

Teresa and Sarah thanked hospital staff for the care their mum received, and condemned UKPC for the attitude of staff.

“The care our mum had was brilliant. We couldn’t fault it, the staff were like little angels,” said Teresa.

But Sarah added: “It’s just a shame the parking wardens can’t show a bit of compassion. They are taking family members away from their loved ones, and staff away from caring for them, to deal with parking fines. It’s absolutely appalling. Everyone was disgusted.

“One of the doctors got fined while she ran to the meter to get a ticket. It needs to stop.”

Rosaleen, of Harraby, is survived by husband Fred, three daughters, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Her funeral will take place on January 9 at the crematorium.

New figures have revealed almost £1m a year is paid out by patients, visitors and staff to park at north Cumbria’s hospitals – with more than half of the revenue going to private firm Interserve.

All revenue from patient and visitor parking at the Cumberland Infirmary – in the region of about £600,000 a year – goes to the company. The remainder, almost £400,000, from staff parking revenue in Carlisle and combined revenue in Whitehaven, goes to the hospital trust to be reinvested in patient care.

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T   Nicholls , Aspatria Sunday, 15 January, 2017 at 5:35PM
Since the local health authority is hell bent on forcing people to travel further to receive treatment or visit friends and relatives in hospitals then they should provide patients/visitors with parking badges to allow them to park for free at the time of their visit. Otherwise they are just passing on the extra costs to the public. This is a disgraceful money making scam. If the hospital needs someone to run the car parks then just pay them for the service and remove all these "fines". We are supposed to receive treatment free, not pay to access it.
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tap   loader , carlisle Thursday, 12 January, 2017 at 4:36PM
At least Mr.Turpin wore a mask when he used to rob the public,shame on the parking company and bigger shame for the hospital for employing these toe rags.
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colin   s , carlisle Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 at 11:32AM
Nobby, you are well named...without the y
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Bryan   , Carlisle Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 at 8:08AM
Did I read that correctly? "All revenue from patient and visitor parking at the Cumberland Infirmary – in the region of about £600,000 a year – goes to the company". This is absolutely disgusting, somebody's becoming rich to the detriment of the vulnerable and sick, and their families. It's blatant profiteering, to the point of living from immoral earnings.
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Doctor   Kildare , Whitehaven Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 at 4:39PM
These ladies were at the bedside of their dying mum for heavens sake, (put yourself in their shoes) what are they suposed to do? ''sorry mum, can you hang on for another 10 minutes while I pop to the car, my parking tickets is about to run out''! Ridiculous Jobsworths. A nurse who pays for a parking disc recently got fined £40 because the disc had fell off the windscreen and was sitting on the dash!
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Nobby   Knowitall , Carlisle Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 at 12:15PM
Just park legally and pay tariffs and there will be no problems folks. Any personal distress should be balanced with the need to adhere to the law and purchase a ticket. Thanks.
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Nobby   Knowsnothing , Carlisle Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 at 7:44PM
Im sure you were looking for a bite, so I'll give you what you want! They clearly did park legally, following appropriate procedures as advised. Terrible treatment following that. Ignorant comment from you sir.
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Suzanna   Byrne , Huntington Beach, California, USA Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 9:23PM
My beloved England is getting more and more like the US of A. GREED, GREED, AND MORE GREED!
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Bubba   Ross , Brampton Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 10:21AM
I just don't get this article. They've made it clear that the parking fines will be rescinded. Why could the matter not just be left at that? Why did they feel the need to run to the papers.
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  , Wednesday, 18 January, 2017 at 9:00PM
We didn't feel the need to run to the papers! The hospital advised us to enlighten people on what happened to us!!
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marie   thompson , KESWICK Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 at 1:19PM
Exactly! Have they not got enough to deal with , slow news day clearly
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Liz   Wild , Cumbria Thursday, 12 January, 2017 at 7:14PM
Exactly. Hospital bosses have now promised to rescind the tickets and speak to UKPC to avoid it happening to others.
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raghunandana   vedapanakal , Cockermouth Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 4:26AM
It is apaulling service.Even though I pay for my parking every month,I had to pay and display just because they had changed the colour of the discreen and I was given no information or time to exchange it. It is really pathetic as the revenue generated ruthlessly is not invested in development either. It is worrying to see where we are heading by privatising services...
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kev   bradshaw , cleator moor Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 2:03AM
sue them for stress and distress
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chris   bray , carlisle Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 12:15AM
My Daughter had a medical emergency before christmas and had to rush my granddaughter to the hospital she parked at the front not obstructing anyone and rushed in to the hospital without thinking of her stay being more than the 20 mins permitted. the parking attendant (tax collector) said that he saw her parking there and waited until her time was up and hit her with a fine. The parking warden (tax collector) must have seen how distressed she was but this made no difference, my Daughter herself has an incurable disease and at the time was very ill herself. This company is hell bent on making a large profit and is faceless no contact number because of the past abuse they have had. They also send you threatening letters and site several cases that they have won but not the thousands of cases they have lost, but I intend to publish those cases on there behalf.
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William   Carruthers , Carlisle Wednesday, 04 January, 2017 at 11:35PM
These occurences are all to frequent. Why can't the parking be managed by pay on exit? No penalties, just paying for the time the car has been parked. No doubt still complaints at the cost, but far better than the penalties and heartache being caused at present.
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Anoneumouse   , Carlisle Wednesday, 04 January, 2017 at 5:10PM
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void
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TLO   , Wednesday, 04 January, 2017 at 3:49PM
It's time this scandal of paying to park at hospitals was stamped out! This situation should not happen I really feel for this family and anyone who has to use hospital parking regularly, hospital sites should be made as stress free as possible! Fair enough a token charge and a small fine for over staying or not displaying but 70quid is outrageous. UKPC and other such companies should be ashamed of themselves but iam sure their not bothered aslong as the money keeps rolling in!
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Andy   Brown , Carlisle Friday, 06 January, 2017 at 11:40PM
Sadly the greed is so bad that patients and there families are suffering due to parking charges that make a very few people very rich. Maybe we need to all invest in devices that change our numberplate while parking so any charges go to cars owned by those responsible for this treatment of visitors and patients. I doubt it would be illegal to change your numberplate's with a flipping device on your car as this is all happening on private property where all laws of the road are suspended to allow for this type of practice by hospitals.
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