Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Patient speaks out about hospital parking charges

11:46 29 August 2014

Tracy Welham is annoyed about West Suffolk Hospital parking charges.

Tracy Welham is annoyed about West Suffolk Hospital parking charges.

A young woman who has been battling cancer has spoken of the extra strain caused by parking charges and a lack of available spaces at West Suffolk Hospital.

shares

Tracy Welham, 35, from Barrow, said paying for parking while she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer at the Bury St Edmunds site was becoming so costly she even forfeited the support of her husband Neil, who she told not to bother visiting her every day.

Mrs Welham spoke to the EADT in the hope that by sharing her experiences the hospital will make the parking experience cheaper and easier for patients and visitors.

She said she and her husband had racked up a credit card bill of £83 over a six-month period, adding this did not include payments with change or when friends had dropped her off.

She said: “Nobody wants to be in hospital. You have to go for your treatments and appointments if you want to conquer whatever has got hold of you, and to have to pay parking as well I don’t think is really fair.”

Mrs Welham said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June last year and underwent an operation the following month.

She then had chemotherapy from August to December, and had to stay at the Macmillan unit for a week in the August.

It was during this week that she told her husband not to visit every day because of the price of parking. “I did get quite lonely,” she said.

While the Macmillan unit does have some spaces of its own, Mrs Welham said they were often all taken.

She said the general shortage of parking spaces at the hospital site meant it could be quite stressful as you searched for one, and when appointments overran you were then anxious about getting back to your car.

She said at the very least people should pay for the time they use. Currently it costs £3.30 for up to two hours.

A spokeswoman for West Suffolk Hospital said all of the money received from car parking is reinvested directly into patient care.

“We fully appreciate that the parking at the hospital is not ideal, but try and do the best we can within the constraints of the site.

“We will always listen to the views of our patients and visitors, and have significantly reduced the maximum anyone pays from £15.10 to £7.60 a day while ensuring that anyone who is on site for up to 20 minutes can park for free.

“We are already following the majority of the guidance announced by the health secretary, and offer a range of discounts and refunds to help patients who make frequent visits or are receiving certain benefits.”

She added they have introduced a weekly £12 ticket, cancer patients pay a discounted daily rate and some cardiac and dermatology patients who attend regularly for very short appointments, as well as blue badge holders, can park for free.

“We will be discussing the health secretary’s guidance in more detail in the near future to see if there is anything further we could do to help our patients and visitors,” she said.

Mrs Welham, who had not been aware of any discounts or refunds available to her, said if reduced tickets were on offer this needed to be made much clearer by the hospital.

She said she had managed to stay quite positive during her illness, adding she did not think she could have got through it without her husband, family and friends.

The debate about parking at West Suffolk Hospital was sparked on social media website Streetlife.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The thatched house in Langham which was badly damaged by a fire.

A blaze at a thatched cottage in a village near the Suffolk/Essex border tackled by firefighters for around seven hours overnight has left a family homeless.

Gena Moore from Nelson’s Journey with Simon and Anne Beckett-Allen of Rosedale Funeral Home

A funeral home with branches in north Suffolk has continued its support for local bereaved children by commissioning a doll’s house style church to help support workers explain what happens at a funeral.

Felixstowe Road Runners

Runners from Suffolk and Essex will once again be flocking to the Capital, this weekend, to take part in the 35th staging of the London Marthon.

Man wanted in connection with a burglary at Playford Court in Sudbury

CCTV images of a man wanted over thefts from properties at sheltered housing complexes in Sudbury.

Cyclists taking part in the Suffolk Sunrise 100 bike ride for children's charity Action Medical Research in 2012

More than 1,300 cyclists are expected to line up for the start of a fundraising ride through the Suffolk countryside in just over a fortnight.

MRSA rates revealed

Drastic measures to tackle potentially life-threatening bugs have significantly reduced outbreaks in our hospitals, an investigation has found.

Police remain outside The Bull pub in Haverhill after an earlier stabbing.

A man was stabbed in Haverhill in the early hours of this morning.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie

A Victoria Cross recipient credited with turning defeat into victory at Gallipoli will be honoured in his home village this weekend – 100 years after he died in battle.

Julie Myerson

It was World Book Night this week. We asked some of our favourite local authors for the three books they’d most want on a desert island. Would you choose the ones they did?

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans

Ipswich Town’s Supporters Club has said it is “great news” that owner Marcus Evans’ wealth has gone up almost 10% – to £765million.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages