I’ve been going to Mount Vernon hospital recently. The first time I went there I was quite overwhelmed with the size of it. However, this was followed by a feeling of hope and joy! Why? The staff that could’ve just kept going and minded their own business, could tell I was lost. They actually stopped, asked me if I was OK and then helped me get to where I needed to be!
Something to be worked on – as you enter the hospital there are ramps which are not marked clearly and I have to make sure I take Â£2.60 each time because the machine doesn’t offer change and there’s no ‘change machine’.
So rather than rejoice about the staff and curse about the parking & ramps, I googled ’email Mount Vernon hospital’ and a NHS website came up. It was so easy to leave a message. Hopefully someone with a budget with read it and act on it! I’ve done my bit anyway 🙂
John Woodford · November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm
Hello Mrs. Modi,
I am writing in response to your e-mail.
Thank you for your very kind comments concerning the staff at Mt. Vernon Hospital and bring to our attention the shortfalls in our service.
Regarding the ramps you have mentioned, I believe you are referring to the road humps at the road entrance to the hospital. We will be relining the road markings within the next three months and we will ensure that the road humps are painted.
You also mentioned the change machine, I would bring to your attention there is a change machine, that takes notes, in the Restaurant. Also there is a sign on the exit point of the car park indicating this, but I will acknowledge more signage would help our customers, which we will address.
I would add that the car parking office is sited in the main entrance and is open from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Monday to Friday. The attendant will help with any car parking problems.
Please if you have any questions do contact me.
Kind Regards John Woodford, on behalf of the Sustainable Transport Committee.
Heena Modi · November 18, 2008 at 6:31 pm
Thank you very much for your reply.
You mention that the humps will be painted. That will be fabulous 🙂
Re the signs. Oh dear! I haven’t seen the sign about the machine that takes notes at all. Nor did I realise there were attendants who could help. Many ‘regular’ patients/visitors do not seem to know either. I know this from the many times I attended when I witnessed others explaining that their change would get eaten up, not mentioning any other option at all. Anyway thanks for that information. 🙂
John Webster · November 18, 2008 at 7:31 pm
Dear Ms Modi,
Thank you for your e-mail of 16 October to the Department of Health about car parking charges and faith options.
I am sorry to read of your concerns about hospital car parking charges. It may be helpful if I explain that NHS organisations that provide car parking on their premises incur costs in relation to maintenance, security and staffing. If no charges were made, then these unavoidable costs would have to be found from funds otherwise available for patient care. Ministers have taken the view in England that patient care, rather than subsidising car parks, should take priority when it comes to NHS resources.
Ministers believe it is best left to individual NHS organisations to decide whether to introduce parking charges and, if they do, at what level the charge should be set. The pressure on a hospital car park will be very different in an inner city location from a rural or out-of-town setting. Any profits made may only be spent on patient care.
The Department of Health has issued guidance to the NHS advising a range of factors to consider when establishing or reviewing car parking schemes on their premises. This was revised and reissued in December 2006 as Income generation: car parking charges â€“ best practice for implementation. It strongly recommends that NHS bodies offer free or reduced price car parking to those patients and visitors who have to use their car parks on a regular and long-term basis.
In light of the above, you may wish to raise your concerns with your Primary Care Trust (PCT). The address is as follows.
97-109 High Street
Regarding faith options, the Department of Health recognises that we live in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society and is committed to the principle of ensuring that patients and staff in the NHS have access to the spiritual care they want, whatever faith or belief system they follow.
The Departmentâ€™s policy is set out in the guidance NHS Chaplaincy: Meeting the Religious and Spiritual Needs of Patients and Staff, which includes advice to NHS Trusts on worship and sacred spaces. This guidance allows Trusts to deliver religious and spiritual care in a way that best meets the diverse needs of their patients.
The modern NHS must be responsive to the religious needs of its patients. This is integral to its commitment to shaping NHS services to meet the needs and preferences of individual patients, their families and carers, as set out in the NHS Plan.
I hope this response addresses your concerns.
Customer Service Centre
Department of Health
Heena Modi · November 18, 2008 at 7:46 pm
Dear Mr. Webster,
Thanks for your reply. Iâ€™m not sure that weâ€™re aligned with each otherâ€™s viewpoints though.
This is what I said: –
â€œStaff who are passing by would ask if you were OK if you looked lost, for example.They were polite and helpful :)â€
â€œThe ramps as you enter the hospital do not have any visible markings on them. If you do not realise they are there, you will when you drive over them! Painful, even if you drive slowly, especially with a fragile back like mine.
The car park is quite confusing to manoeuvre around too. The arrows are not visible so you can end up in a bit of a jam.
Perhaps the sign for where pedestrians should walk should be bigger too?
Last of all, most people think that hospitals have a large income from parking fees. Surely it would be reasonable to have a machine that gives change OR have a machine from which we can receive change, (for the parking fee)? It seems quite unfair that it eats up the money put in and we just have to accept it! Also is this spelt out in any letters stating when we are due to come in to the hospital?â€
Thank you for your explanation costs incurred. However, I am not debating the amount. Nor am I saying they should be free. Thus I do not understand why you have gone into such detail about the costs, how they are met and what would happen if they were not met.
Although I am glad that profits are spent on patient care, I had not queried this or even thought about it. When I mentioned that people assume that hospitals make a lot of money from fees, I was not querying this or asking where the money was spent. I was asking if it was then fair to deprive the visitor/patient of change.
Have you in any way responded to my comments about the car park is quite confusing to manoeuvre around, the markings not being visible enough, the insufficient quantity and size of signs re where pedestrians should walk or the fact that the machine positioned at the exit of the car park does not offer change. I also asked if this was mentioned in any letters stating when we are due to come in to the hospital.
I would be grateful for a reply to the above points.
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