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Health chief pledges action over parking problems at hospitals

Parking chaos at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary is causing major problems for patients, a governor has warned.

Progress: The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle

Bosses have now promised the problems will “definitely” be addressed soon.

Action will also be taken at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

Former MP Eric Martlew, now shadow governor for the hospitals trust, took the board to task on the issue at a meeting at the hospital.

He said: “For years parking has been a major problem. I know of people who come here and spend half an hour driving round the car park, then having their blood pressure taken and it’s sky high.

“There are also elderly people who have been driving round, missed their appointments and gone home.

“The first impressions people get of this hospital is trying to get parked. Something has got to be done.”

He went on to accuse the hospital of being a bad neighbour, with cars being left in surrounding streets to the detriment of residents.

Chief executive Ann Farrar said she is already looking at how to tackle the issue.

Mr Martlew said four years ago, before becoming a governor, he wrote to previous bosses with a similar complaint.

He was told they planned to knock down the old tower block and use the land to improve car parking but that has never happened.

He also used recent railway station car park developments – where an extra level has been added to increase capacity – as a possible solution.

“I understand this doesn’t come up in any statistics and I’m sure you don’t put it on any of your satisfaction forms – as it’s one area where I’m sure you wouldn’t get good feedback – but it is important. It needs sorted out.”

Mrs Farrar, who took over as permanent boss of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust in October, said there are problems at both the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.

“I’ve had a number of personal complaints from staff and patients.

“There are additional pressures at the West Cumberland Hospital because it’s a building site at the moment.”

She added that although additional parking has been factored in to the new hospital plans, it is still a long way off.

She has asked the interim estates director Steven Bannister to have a look at the issues and come up with some possible solutions.

She added: “We need to resolve it. Something is going to be done, definitely.”

Mr Bannister will now bring a report back to the board.

Have your say

There are quite a number of staff who park in the patient areas, mainly because they can't be biothered to walk the extra 30 yards, some who arrive early have 'their space' and get very annoyed if a patient or visitor is in it, one has their spot which is on a busy corner on double yellows but she parks their whether there are spaces or not.

It makes it very embarrassing for us staff members who do park in the alloted area.

Posted by Nick on 5 February 2014 at 08:46

My wife was sent to South Shields hospital as Carlisle did not do what was required,the parking there was worse than Carlisle,has anybody tried parking at Newcastle,Kendal or Hexham hospitals they are all the same carlisle is nothing special in so many cases

Posted by Dave S on 3 February 2014 at 22:46

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