Kettering General Hospital is to increase the number of disabled parking spaces it offers after a backlash from users over a ‘disgusting’ lack of bays.
Work is under way to move spaces from the access road in front of the Rockingham Wing to the hospital’s main reception area.
The work has seen current drop-off spaces moved to the maternity theatres to allow emergency blue light access.
But concerned user Jackie Alexander says bays were coned off, leaving her having to park even further away – and she was disgusted by the lack of spaces.
She said: “I had an appointment at the hospital and I am absolutely disgusted at the lack of parking areas for the disabled.
“As we approached the designated area outside the main outpatients area there was one disabled space available but it had cones in this area and an attendant.
“We asked him to move the cones and he refused, saying that it was a drop-off zone and not a disabled space.
“Rather miffed, we drove round towards the maternity wing where my appointment was.
“Outside maternity there were five spaces, but these had been reduced to one as the others have been coned off.
“The only place left to park was in the top car park or behind the social club, and walk.
“I would imagine there would be more sick and disabled people using the hospital than there is fit and healthy people?”
KGH Trust currently has 57 disabled parking spaces, more than it is required to have.
Kettering General Hospital director of estates and facilities Derek Shaw says plans are in place to increase this even further in the near future.
He said: “We understand the frustrations some of our patients, visitors and staff have about easy access to car parking and we are working to address this.
“We are currently surveying car parking use, looking at periods of peak demand, and drawing up possible options for future improvements.
“We can reassure local people we are not planning to reduce disabled parking spaces.
“Overall the trust currently has 57 disabled spaces – more than we are required to have – and has plans to expand this to 64 in the very near future.
“While we have not reduced disabled spaces we are about to relocate four spaces from the access road in front of Rockingham Wing to our main reception area.
“This increases disabled spaces in front of the hospital from five to 12 and the new layout will be in place in the next few weeks.
“The trust is now using former short-term drop-off spaces in front of outpatients as a blue light emergency ambulance access lane to ensure speedy access to our A&E department.
“The drop-off spaces have been relocated close to maternity theatres a short distance away.”