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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Parking for patients, visitors, staff and even local residents.

Dorset County Hospital staff returning to cars after shifts find DOG MUCK smeared on door handles in Dorchester

The "parking problems" for people using Dorchester County Hospital, both staff and patients, are not the fault of those working there, nor are they the fault of residents in the area who have the inconvenience of parked vehicles outside their homes. Whilst I condemn the actions of those responsible for the abuse and other allegations reported in this article, we should not lose sight of the fact that the management and those responsible for the administration of parking facilities at the hospital, must take full responsibility for the grievously inadequate parking facilities, which have been a problem for patients, visitors, staff and even local residents for many years.
As a regular user of Dorchester Hospital for some time, it has become increasingly obvious that the "parking problems" are chronic and growing worse. On numerous occasions, I have cruised around all the car parks seeking a space for almost 30 minutes without success. Even taking the advice in the appointment letter to "allow plenty of time prior to your appointment as parking space is limited", has only rarely ever resulted in finding a space at the first attempt. The totally inadequate provision of parking facilities has been created and perpetuated by hospital management and administration in this area of their responsibilities.
I appreciate and understand that hospital treatment facilities within various departments is limited and will on occasions require the addition of new equipment and the space necessary to house the apparatus and the technicians and other staff to operate it. In this respect a new "office" has been built in the waiting area of the cardiology department, albeit that the resultant reduction in space and seating for patients has created a rather claustrophobic environment. Also a number of hospital areas seem to be undergoing "refurbishment" with numerous "stud walls" being erected and other work being carried out which has so far only resulted in giving the hospital interior a rather grubby appearance.
However, the hospital "authorities" have exceeded themselves in demonstrating their lack of sensitivity or even understanding of their own vehicle parking problems. In the car parks, it is always apparent that some parking bays are closed off with no parking traffic cones, albeit that the bays re empty of any visible reason, whilst other bays are occupied with commercial vehicles or contractors lorries, no doubt associated with the building work inside the hospital. It may reasonably be argued that this is only a temporary inconvenience (which is not really an excuse for the difficulty of parking) and will resolve itself when (if ever) the refurbishments are complete.
The ultimate example of management failure however is the placement of a new "cardiac catheterization" in the main car park in front of the South entrance. The problem is not that the new unit has been provided, (a welcome addition to the hospital facilities which will remove the need for patients to travel to Southampton General Hospital for their treatments) but that in order to locate the large container like building. a number of car parking spaces have been taken away and moreover they were disabled parking spaces! The removal of parking spaces from an already inadequate supply of parking smacks of a lack of sensitivity, if not ineptitude.

The residents of the area around the hospital, the patients, visitors and staff have been badly served by those responsible for the every day parking chaos at Dorchester County Hospital and surrounding area. Smearing dog mess and other abuses is not acceptable even though frustration with a problem will inevitably result in extreme measures. Creating "dedicated groups of staff and patient representatives" to discuss the problem only ever produces rhetoric and numerous meetings but rarely any actions to relieve the problem.