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Heather Wheeler takes Queen's Hospital parking woes to Parliament

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

Comments (14)

THE parking woes of patients at Queen's Hospital have been taken to a national forum after the issue was raised in Parliament by MP Heather Wheeler.

The South Derbyshire politician spoke in a meeting of the Backbench Business Committee, when charges were described as 'a tax on NHS treatment' during a discussion on Government guidance that charges should be 'fair and proportionate'.

Mrs Wheeler joined her backbench colleagues in imploring hospital trusts to 'put patients first' in their quest to serve the public.

Speaking of the controversial Parking Eye system, which was installed last year, she said: "A number of constituents have come to me in absolute outrage, because when they get it wrong they get a £70 fine.

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"I am delighted that on every occasion I have been able to appeal to the chief executive and get that fine removed, but what an incredible waste of their time and mine, let alone the angst and anger of constituents."

Parking Eye, which works on an automatic number plate recognition system, sends penalty notices to anybody it records 'abusing' the system.

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has received a barrage of complaints over the system, which does not tell people how much they owe as they leave the car park.

Critics have said the system, which was installed at no charge to the trust, prays on patients and visitors at a time of vulnerability.The trust has recently made efforts to simplify the system and alter its pricing structure.

Mrs Wheeler said: "There has been a huge outcry. They do not get a card that tells them when they came in. They might be rushing to take a child into A and E, or they might be a bit elderly and have eyesight that is not so good.

"This system has been imposed on my constituents, and I am not happy about it. I cannot believe the hospital has ended up going down that route and I think that national guidelines would be excellent."

Daniel Poulter, parliamentary under-secretary for health, said he accepted there was an issue.

"As a Government, we want to see greater clarity and consistency for patients and their friends and relatives about getting a fairer deal when it comes to car parking," he said.

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  • ianpage123  |  September 11 2014, 5:44AM

    So yes the question is who is Terry ?? but you are getting away from the point of the parking system at Queen Hospital. It's a rubbish system it should be updated or scrapped. Simple.

  • mattlong  |  September 09 2014, 9:23PM

    Adrian. I have done some digging and believe I know who 'Terry' is after asking around. Laughed when I found out.

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  • Adrian Right  |  September 09 2014, 8:48PM

    mattlong - please, to a newcomer, who is this 'Terry'. It seems very reactive, defensive and unable to address adult to adult discussion.. A genuine, interested and competent person representing views of others would not 'act' like this.

  • mattlong  |  September 08 2014, 8:53PM

    Very brave 'Terry'. I was expecting another back handed reference to my mental health. I suspect you are a councillor already but work on reducing the four letter responses down to two or three and get them on Twitter my friend and you'll be there if you are not.

  • Terry  |  September 08 2014, 8:43PM

    Mattlong, Blah, blah, blah blah blah.

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  • mattlong  |  September 05 2014, 4:14PM

    I would personally prefer to wake up to a copy of the Daily Jon Wheale rather than the Daily Matt Long but due to the silence of most on the political left make no apology for being vocal. The problem is most in our town (including the politcians) are UNDER -politicised rather than being OVER-politicised. Councillors, single issue campaigners and should be using this social space for genuine political debate also that involves appropriately challenging each other. This being said the person who doesn't reveal an identity online and then attacks an MP and a mental health campaigner like myself with a gutless comment about my publicly acknowledged mental health problems (OCD and depression) is like the road rage driver who makes a rude hand gesture before driving off at speed whilst hurriedly winding up the car window. If you were sincere you'd post your real name but you don't because like most who post - you deliver you comments from the safety of your air conditioned automobile with the doors firmly locked.

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  • mattlong  |  September 05 2014, 2:45PM

    If you feel unable to support a street stall Terry do not fret because you will be in the majority in our town and on the political left. Work on reducing your three line posts down to a few words (preferably on Twitter if you can) and get yourself nominated to stand for the borough council. You will go far in this climate and they will love you.

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  • mattlong  |  September 05 2014, 2:32PM

    Feel free Terry to introduce yourself to me in person when I'm next in town on a health service street stall be it mental health or privatisation of cancer treatment. I'd love to meet you in person (if I haven't already in the Labour party) as you are obviously so keen to commit to a progressive politics of the left.

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  • mattlong  |  September 05 2014, 2:07PM

    Firstly Terry, I actually made a point agreeing with the substance of what you said. Secondly what I would prefer to call 'feedback' is directed at (a) the style and (b) the lack of transparency of many of those who post comments criticising the MP. I do not agree with people attacking any individual without taking ownership of their comments by posting their real name. I would challenge you and others to do so and some have followed me on this. Thirdly, your reference to my illness is indeed a barbed comment made in bad faith. Water off a duck's back my friend. I've gone public with it and was told I'd never work again and I'd be a laughing stock for kicking off a mental health campaign. I ignored these kind of comments and moved forwards and did something productive. The same people that said I would lose my job and that I'd be a laughing stock then started to see my image and comments in the local press. They then said I was a self serving publicist motivated not by a desire to improve mental health in Burton but a desire for self promotion. I make no apology for commenting on a multitude of issues. My involvement in mental health campaigning has politicised me to develop a line of logic which is intellectually consistent. You keep swinging at Andrew Griffiths my friend because your punches are so telegraphed its unreal. Pop me a line on May 6th next year when you wake up and find out who is in power. I tried unsuccessfully to work within the Labour party when I was a member but felt badly let down by that party but am still a Labour voter.

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  • Terry  |  September 05 2014, 1:35PM

    Mattlong, do not demand answers from me! Who are you that sits in the early hours, dissecting and criticising everyone`s posts on almost every subject? It must be a very sad person with nothing else to do or think about, to act in this manner. If this behaviour results from the onset of illness, then I sincerely apologise. Meanwhile I need to look at todays issue of the Daily Mattlong.

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