Fears of delays in vital care after public ignore signs and block the doctors’ car park entrance at Stevenage health centre
- Credit: Archant
A nurse from a Stevenage doctors surgery has warned of the potential dangers to patients’ lives after several incidents of GPs being preventing from entering or leaving their staff car park because of cars blocking the entrance.
Olivia Ackerman from the St Nicholas Health Centre is worried that the incidents at the Canterbury Way site are happening more frequently, despite there being signs up to say the gates are in constant use.
“The parking here can get very tight,” she said. “There’s a shop, the chemist, the other surgery, the pub and the community centre, so it can get very busy.”
The doctors’ car park is around the side of the surgery, with a ‘keep clear’ sign painted directly outside the entrance gate along with the other signs put up.
“Our staff car park is used by doctors going out see to patients, or coming back to the surgery for patients’ appointments here,” said Olivia.
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“Ocassionally we do also have ambulances coming here in emergencies and they have to be able to access the car park – something that’s not infrequent.
“We have had incidents where cars have parked across the entrance on the keep clear signs and we have had to then find out who they belong to and ask them to move, which takes time.
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“Even at weekends when people think that the doctors aren’t in and they think it’s OK to block the entrance. They shouldn’t because doctors need to be able to access it 24/7.”
Olivia told the Comet that the latest incident was on Monday.
She said: “We had someone actually drive into the staff car park and block the entrance completely. When we asked them to move, they said we should get better signs and drove off.”
Olivia said the signs are visible and that doctors have expressed their concern. She added: “Thankfully we haven’t had an incident yet where it stopped a doctor from dealing with a life-threatening situation, but it is a big worry for us that this could happen so we ask the public to park elsewhere.”