AMBULANCES have been delayed getting into a hospital since the health centre next door put up tyre barriers to its half of the car park.

Staff at Abingdon Community Hospital say the Marcham Road Health Centre’s barrier is confusing for patients and staff and vehicles have been damaged as a result.

Now the hospital trust is promising to consult staff on its parking management plans.

A hospital nurse, who did not want to be named, said: “It is causing confusion for patients driving into the hospital site, who see the barrier and try to reverse back out and park in hospital spaces.

“This has also resulted in staff, in particular community nurses, having their vehicles damaged.”

The nurse said that on April 8 two police officers, who happened to be at the site, ended up helping traffic in and out of the hospital.

She added: “I witnessed a blue-lighted ambulance trying to get into the car park, possibly delaying treatment for a patient.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Cllr Mike Badcock backs the health centre

Marcham Road Health Centre put up the £8,000 barrier in February to stop hospital patients and people not using either facility parking in its 40 spaces.

Anyone now using the health centre’s car park illegitimately will be fined £25.

The hospital has 114 parking spaces. The health centre declined to comment.

Oxford Health spokesman Alistair Duncan said: “The trust is aware of the pressures faced by car parking at Abingdon hospital and has made it a priority to find a solution as soon as possible.

“We have put the needs of patients and essential staff at the core of the plans. We will consult staff and hope to implement plans after that.”

Thames Valley Police said it was not officially called to the hospital to help manage the traffic.

Vale of White Horse district councillor for Abingdon, Mike Badcock, said: “What the health centre has done is absolutely right and is working admirably.

“The problem is at the hospital. The NHS needs to increase parking.”