Search

‘Cancer means I have to pay more to park in Queen’s Hospital’ - disabled Hornchurch woman

16:00 31 October 2012

Rod and Pauline Driscoll

Rod and Pauline Driscoll

Archant

A disabled couple from Hornchurch believe car parking rules at Queen’s Hospital are penalising them for visiting the cancer unit.

Pauline Driscoll, 71, is being treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the Romford hospital’s oncology department. Mrs Driscoll’s husband Rod, 69, said the couple’s blue badges enabled them to park free of charge in the hospital’s surface level car park, but that they are not recognised in the “pink zone” where his wife is now being treated – meaning she is effectively charged extra for having cancer.

“They’re penalising us,” said Mrs Driscoll, of Nelson Close. “I’d rather worry about my treatment. It’s quite aggravating with everything else.”

Mr Driscoll said: “It’s a mess. How come you can park free in one area and not the other? It doesn’t add up.”

Mr Driscoll added his wife’s problems with mobility meant she couldn’t walk the 400 metres from the disabled car park to the cancer department. “To come from the main car park down to the oncology department isn’t on,” he said.

“I can’t see why you don’t have to pay in the main parking area with a blue badge, but if you have cancer you do in the pink zone.”

Under Queen’s rules, patients attending hospital to receive active treatment such as chemotherapy can still park free, whether they are disabled or not, but cancer patients seeing a doctor for follow-ups or tests cannot.

A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, which runs Queen’s, said parking was managed by private company Sodexo.

“We have far more disabled parking spaces on site than we are required to provide,” she added. “We are also one of the few trusts to offer free parking to patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

“There are limited spaces in the oncology car park, so it is important that that they are earmarked for those having active chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.”

Kajal Odedra, campaigns officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Cancer patients having follow-up appointments after treatment for a potentially life-threatening disease should not be penalised by having to pay unavoidable costs such as hospital parking.

“These charges are a huge burden for cancer patients who have already typically made 53 trips to hospital during treatment. It is morally wrong that hospitals are profiting from this tax on illness.

“We want every hospital in England to follow government guidance and provide free or concessionary parking for cancer patients travelling regularly to hospital.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:25
First Step is running a competition where readers can win tickets to its summer ball

Two lucky readers are set to be transported back to the 1920s.

Yesterday, 14:00
Prince William handing over John Morris' OBE at Buckingham Palace.

A headteacher has said he is “over the moon” to have been awarded an OBE for his services to education.

Yesterday, 12:21
General view of HGV lorries.

Space for 50 tipper trucks will replace some of the old Ford site in Rainham if plans are approved.

Yesterday, 09:16
Hall Lane, Upminster, has been closed off after a collision this morning.

Two women had to be cut out of a car after they were involved in a collision this morning.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder