I recently attended a clinic appointment at my local hospital Manchester Royal. Having not had the need to park in the old Grafton street car park recently I was surprised to find the original entrance closed and was redirected to what used to be where the exit was. On turning the corner there was a cue of cars and a bibbing of horns. Upon entry to the car park there were cars going round and round going in the wrong direction. All the lower spaces were filled. Eventually I found a space on the higher floor. Thoughts of being late for my appointment entered my head. It made me think about an incident many years ago when an elderly chap arrived in Outpatient’s where I practised as a nurse. He was accompanied by his daughter. He had got himself in a right stew and was understandably highly anxious. It resulted in him having a cardiac arrest which the crash team were able to fortunately resuscitate him from. I sat with his daughter, reassured and counselled her while the team fought to keep him alive. Luckily on this occasion there was a positive outcome. I also, like many other nurses, doctors etc used to struggle to find a free parking space and was occasionally late for work, despite paying a monthly parking fee.
Once I found a disabled space I realised to my dismay that they were located at the far end of the building. On returning to my car, I realised that I had to go and collect my blue badge and then take it to the security office at the far end of the car park. I decided I couldn’t be bothered trudging backwards and forwards so decided to pay. On my exit I realised the disc had not being returned from the machine to gain exit. Luckily the security men were on hand to open the barrier. I had to attend a clinic appt. yesterday and was able to find a space situated near the office. Upon trying to slide my blue badge through the window the security man stated “they had made the gap to small” and to hold the badge at the window for him to validate it. Why, oh why don’t designers at hospitals take into account patients views and needs? Something so simple becomes complicated. Just like a lot of other situations in life.