Traffic chaos causes delays at Queen’s Hospital after Rom Valley Way car park closure
- Credit: Archant
Frustrated patients have described a “chaotic situation” outside Queen’s Hospital after the closure of the Rom Valley Way car park three weeks ago.
The Recorder has been told of queues of up to 45 minutes to get into the Romford hospital’s multi-storey car park, with reports of staff being late for shifts and patients late for appointments.
The neighbouring car park, near the former ice rink, was closed in May by owners Morrisons following a land swap with Havering Council, which should enable the completion of a new leisure centre.
One man said it took him up to 45 minutes to get into the car park, which was “rammed”, when he visited his seriously ill father, of Hornchurch, in hospital.
“It seems particularly bad lunchtimes and early afternoon and the queue backs up to Rom Valley Way,” he said. “One nurse caring for my dad said staff are missing the starts of their shifts and patients missing appointments.
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“If my dad deteriorated and I had to wait an hour in Rom Valley Way before getting to the hospital that would be distressing,” he said.
John Moore, of Romford, also struggled to park when visiting a seriously ill relative in the high dependency unit.
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“With the NHS already £2bn overspent, the last thing it needs is doctors waiting for patients who fail to attend appointments,” he said. He warned it could result in patients dying alone because their family were unable to park.
Another regular patient at the hospital wrote of her “frustration” after being stuck in a bus held up in queues.
Deputy chief executive at Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) Steve Russell apologised to patients, but repeated visitors should allow extra time for their journey. “I know this must be extremely frustrating,” he said.
Mr Russell stressed traffic jams had “absolutely no impact” on emergency services accessing the hospital.
A Havering Council spokeswoman said it was trying to negotiate an extension of the current car park agreement with Morrisons, but had not heard back from them yet,