From the 1st of September 2015 the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust started charging blue badge holders to park at its hospitals. Healthwatch Kirklees in partnership with Healthwatch Wakefield created a questionnaire to consider the impact of the blue badge parking charges on disabled patients, carers and visitors.
We wanted to understand:
Have disabled patients/carers/visitors been affected by the new blue badge parking charges?
How have they been affected?
Have the charges caused patients to miss hospital appointments?
Have patients experienced any financial difficulties in paying the parking charges?
Healthwatch Kirklees and Healthwatch Wakefield visited Dewsbury hospital, Pinderfields hospital and Pontefract hospital and handed out 1000 paper copies of the blue badge questionnaires. The survey was also made available online.
Overall we received 233 completed responses.
* 64% of patients reported that they had experienced financial difficulties as a result of the new parking charges for blue badge holders.
* 19% of patients missed their hospital appointments because of the new parking charges for blue badge holders.
* 65% of patients told us that the new disabled bays have not improved parking.
* 93% of patients are not aware of the hospital parking concessions
We have passed these comments to Mid Yorkshire Trust and are waiting to hear what actions they plan to take in response to our survey.