Parking mayhem: Frustrated patients miss appointments
FRUSTRATED visitors to Ipswich Hospital are calling for improved parking facilities, claiming the apparent lack of car parks add unnecessary stress to already sensitive situations.
Catherine Baker, who regularly travels from Redbank to the Chelmsford Ave site, said she often struggled to find available on-site parking.
The Ipswich Hospital Foundation currently manages two paid undercover car parks, with the first fifteen minutes free of charge.
Ms Baker said this was not sufficient to cater to the hospital's high-volume traffic.
When attending an appointment at Ipswich Hospital on multiple occasions she said she had been forced to park several kilometres away.
Ms Baker - who seriously injured herself in a fall earlier this year - was forced to pay for a taxi to and from her vehicle on one occasion, she said.
"The car park was absolutely full," she said.
"I even got charged a fee when I tried to exit the car park at first because I must have stayed in there too long while looking for a park."
Unfortunately, difficulty in securing on-site parking on May 25 resulted in her arriving an hour late to her appointment.
She faced a similar situation on Wednesday, though this time she missed her appointment entirely.
"I had to be there at 10am and I thought, 'okay well I'll leave an hour and half early because I live at Redbank," Ms Baker said.
"I still couldn't get a park; I drove around three times.
"There were also several other people trying to get in the car park, but they were saying it was full.
"Now I have to reschedule to Monday and I'm going to have to face the same issue, I have several more appointments coming up too."
She believes the issue also impacts hospital staff who must reschedule appointments.
Ms Baker said she feared the issue would deter patients in need of care from visiting the hospital as it caused undue stress.
"I've been thinking about what to do on Monday. Do I go and try find a park at the hospital or do I just go straight to the outskirts and catch a taxi to the hospital again," she said.
"For an hour appt this is probably going to take me about five hours.
"After a few times, I imagine visitors will become frustrated and give up on it, but they need to be there for their appointments. It's important."
She suggested that further on-site car parks be developed to alleviate the issue, as well as recommencing the Park & Ride shuttle bus service.
The service, which was halted due to coronavirus, offered stops at external sites including Limestone Park, Deebing Street and Bell Street.
"They need to bring that back, it would help not only people like me but others who don't have a licence or car," Ms Baker said.
West Moreton Health and Hospital Services have been approached for comment.
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