Son feeling 'disgusted' by fine at Countess of Chester Hospital

Published date: 05 February 2014 |
Published by: Jamie Nield-Siddall 
Read more articles by Jamie Nield-Siddall  Email reporter


A CARER who was hit with a parking fine as he took his 98-year-old mother into a hospital said he is “disgusted and appalled”.

Philip Brown, of Mainwaring Drive, Saltney Ferry, parked near the Countess of Chester Hospital’s entrance to take his elderly mother Phyllis inside.

He was displaying a blue disability badge and said he only parked at the side of the road opposite the hospital entrance as all the car park’s disabled parking bays were full and his mother is unable to walk long distances.

Mr Brown, 60, said there were no visible parking restrictions in place for a blue badge holder – and he also left his 102-year-old father, Les, in the car while he took Phyllis inside.

Mr Brown has slammed hospital staff – saying they issued the £30 fine without even speaking to his father who was sat in the vehicle.

“I’m disgusted and appalled about it,” said Mr Brown.

“I wasn’t causing an obstruction – I wouldn’t dream of doing that.”

Countess Hospital bosses issued Mr Brown an apology over the ticket, saying they were “genuinely sorry” and accepting they had been in the wrong. But the issue incensed Mr Brown.

“I’m not bothered about the money,” he added. “I was parked outside the hospital doors, opposite the disabled parking, which was full. They put a ticket on the car and my 102-year-old dad was sitting in it. They didn’t even speak to him.”

Mr Brown said the lack of parking at the Countess means he will now be forced to use alternative transport to get there in future as he fears being slapped with another ticket.

“I will need Welsh Community Transport to take me to the hospital next time I need to take my mother,” he said.

“I wont be able to get anywhere near so someone is going to have to drive me.”

He said more disabled parking bays should be available closer to the entrance or something else needs to be done for those unable to walk far.

“The bays were all full and I can’t park far away – neither of my parents can walk that far,” he said.“There needs to be more disabled bays close to the entrance.”

Mark Brandreth, director of operations and planning at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:  “We are genuinely sorry for any distress that might have been caused, and I will be contacting the family to offer a personal apology.

“We have the difficult task of keeping traffic flowing as well as dealing with sometimes dangerous and obstructive parking on what is a very busy hospital site.

“While we do everything that we can to manage this situation fairly, we recognise that we don’t always get it right.

“On this occasion we got it wrong.”

The hospital has an appeal system in place for anyone who feels they have wrongly been issued with a parking fine.

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