Liverpool Echo

Hospital car park needs to get well soon

Going to hospital is stressful, isn’t it?

Whether you’re an outpatient, an inpatient or just there for your varicose veins it isn’t usually something to look forward to.

You want things to run smoothly, to be in – and hopefully out – with minimum fuss.

And, when it came to the care I received, that is exactly what happened this week at Wirral’s Clatterbridge Hospital.

The test was routine screen, the staff lovely, the surroundings clean and bright, the appointment on time.

And then I tried to leave the car park.

The barrier wasn’t working. I’d paid my ticket but the machine was having none of it, spitting the paper back like a petulant child.

I rang the help button and waited. And waited. And waited.

Wirral's Clatterbridge hospital
Wirral’s Clatterbridge hospital

Another motorist pulled up. His ticket failed and he rang for help. After five minuites someone answered and the barrier went up.

Hurrah! I dived into my car, pressed for help. And waited. And waited.

I rang the main hospital switchboard and a lovely woman put me through to a gentleman who she said could help.

Which car park was I in? I didn’t know but described where I was. He was non the wiser.

Had I paid? Yes, but the barrier wasn’t working. He was still non the wiser and advised me I’d have to wait until he got back to the office.

So I did. And then I waited a bit more. Another car pulled up behind me. The clock ticked on.

Meanwhile, the key in my back, wound tight anyway by the hospital process, was at twanging point.

Eventually the barrier was raised and I escaped feeling stressed and strangely teary.

I get that sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Technology fails, people are busy.

But a successful hospital visit is about so much more than doctors and nurses. It’s about the food and the porters, the cleaners, the building.

And the parking.

• OUR youngest is off to university later this month and that means a massive shopping trip. Or two.

Now the spoils of that retail frenzy is cluttering up our front room, rammed to the rafters as it is with pots and pans, plates, towels, pillows and – at my insistence – a toilet brush.

It’s odd to think she’ll be leaving home soon.

Still, after months of her commandeering that room – with revision notes, then holiday packing, now household items – it will nice to have it back.

I might be losing a daughter but I’m gaining a dining table.

<p>This article first appeared in the Liverpool Echo, 1 September 2018.

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