Mum furious at hospital parking fine

Hospital bosses are being forced to reconsider an appeal from an angry mother given an £80 parking fine while her daughter received emergency treatment for a head injury.

Hospital bosses are being forced to reconsider an appeal from an angry mother given an £80 parking fine while her daughter received emergency treatment for a head injury.

Denise Allen, 27, is the latest patient to go public with complaints about the hospital's strict parking policy which has seen a number of patients and visitors fined for misuse of the car park.

Hospital bosses have defended the decision to bring in outside contractors County Parking Enforcement Agency to police the pay and display facilities at the hospital.

But members of the public have baulked at cost of fines and the “unsympathetic” attitude of hospital and its enforcers.

Mother-of three Mrs Allen was “disgusted” by the treatment she received after an emergency visit to the QEH last month.

Mrs Allen was in great distress when she arrived at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, on December 7.

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She had raced to hospital from her Swaffham home with her 21-month-old daughter, Scarlett, after a fall left the child with a gaping cut to her head.

She said: “We called the local surgery first and they sent round a paramedic.

“He said he would take her in his car. But he didn't have a car seat, so he couldn't. Rather than call an ambulance, I decided to take her in my car.”

When Denise arrived at the hospital all the parking spaces within easy reach of Accident and Emergency were taken, so she put the car in one of a number of empty disabled parking spaces.

“At that point I would have left my car in the middle of the road with the engine running, I was so worried about Scarlett,” she said. “Her head was starting to bleed again and she was becoming quite distressed so of course she was my top priority.”

The child was allowed home but on returning to the car Mrs Allen discovered she had been issued with an £80 penalty notice.

“I just burst into tears,” she said. “It had been a very stressful day and this just made it worse.

“When I calmed down I realised they didn't know anything about my circumstances and so I couldn't blame them. I wrote a letter explaining what had happened and asking them to waive the fee.”

But this week the full-time mother received a letter saying her appeal had been considered but not upheld.

“It was like they were saying my reasons weren't good enough,” she said. “But at the time I wasn't worried about anything except Scarlett. I think it's absolutely disgusting.”

Mrs Allen is adamant she and her husband will not pay the fine. She said: “They can take us to court if they want but we won't be paying.”

A hospital spokesman said: “Up until the end of September we had a pay and display car park, which was monitored by hospital employees.

“However, financial difficulties at the QEH meant that the car park was often left unattended, and people who realised this were getting away without paying for their parking.

“As with many modern hospitals, money from parking makes up part of our revenue - if we were to scrap it we would not have the money needed for all the services we provide.

“The QEH does not receive the money paid in fines - that goes to the contractor - but their presence ensures people are paying for their parking tickets - providing essential money for the hospital.

“Many of the appeals we receive contain explanations which need to be looked at. Of course a mother's top priority would be her child. The trust would suggest she submits another appeal, which will be considered very favourably.”