Park­ing fines for cancer pa­tients

Apol­ogy as war­dens tar­get cars out­side chemo bus

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Vicky Cas­tle vcas­tle@thek­m­group.co.uk @vick­y­castleKM

A health trust has apol­o­gised af­ter cancer pa­tients at the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal were tar­geted by park­ing war­dens dur­ing their chemo­ther­apy treat­ment. One pa­tient said he was shocked to see two park­ing at­ten­dants out­side the mo­bile chemo­ther­apy bus ‘sys­tem­at­i­cally’ slap­ping driv­ers with fines.

Dad-of-two Austin Sloan, 39, said: “I couldn’t be­lieve it, I just stood there aghast with my mouth open. One el­derly gentle­man even had to be dis­con­nected from his chemo drip to find other park­ing spa­ces.”

He claims that one at­ten­dant told him af­ter he com­plained: “I’ve had cancer too, so don’t lay that one on me.”

A spokesman for the East Kent Hos­pi­tals Trust, which runs the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal, this week apol­o­gised, say­ing: “We recog­nise that tick­ets should be is­sued in an ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner and we will be dis­cussing this with our park­ing war­dens.”

Cancer pa­tients re­ceiv­ing treat­ment in the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal car park were tar­geted by ticket war­dens as they re­ceived their chemo­ther­apy.

One out­raged pa­tient, Austin Sloan, said he was shocked to see two park­ing at­ten­dants out­side the mo­bile chemo­ther­apy bus “sys­tem­at­i­cally” slap­ping driv­ers with fines.

Mr Sloan, 39, a busi­ness di­rec­tor, has been re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for bowel cancer from the bus since the Celia Blakey Cen­tre closed last year.

He said: “All the pa­tients had dis­abled tick­ets and, al­though parked in the staff car park where the mo­bile unit is, there was half of the car park empty.

“I did tell the at­ten­dant that the oc­cu­pants were on the bus re­ceiv­ing treat­ment, and her words were ‘all ve­hi­cles got to go, I’ve had cancer too, so don’t lay that one on me’.”

“I couldn’t be­lieve it, I just stood there aghast, with my mouth open.”

He added: “One el­derly gentle­man even had to be dis­con­nected from his chemo drip to find an­other space.

“He had se­vere res­pi­ra­tory is­sues and was told to park in other dis­abled spa­ces. When he told her there were no spa­ces, she sim­ply replied ‘I don’t care’.”

Mr Sloan, a dad of two who has gone through 18 months’ chemo, said it was hard for cancer pa­tients to walk the long dis­tance to the mo­bile unit.

He added: “Your treat­ment re­ally takes it out of you.

“The dis­abled spa­ces are at the other end of the car park so you have to traipse back to your car.

“I, along with the chemo­ther­apy unit staff, can’t un­der­stand why there are not a few spa­ces in that car park for the pa­tients re­ceiv­ing treat­ment.

“The car park is mostly empty, and the unit only has a few seats so a few park­ing spa­ces is all that is needed.

“Fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the Celia Blakey Unit due to staff short­ages us cancer pa­tients have been trav­el­ling to Can­ter­bury for all our treat­ment, so the bus is very im­por­tant in re­duc­ing trav­el­ling for treat­ment.

“But to re­ceive park­ing tick­ets due to purely bad lo­gis­tics is not on.

“The at­ti­tude of the park­ing at­ten­dants also needs to be ad­dressed.”

‘One man even had to be dis­con­nected from his chemo drip to find an­other space’

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

War­dens tick­eted chemo­ther­apy pa­tients at the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal

War­dens is­sued tick­ets for chemo­ther­apy pa­tients at the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal

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