Disabled Havant mum left outraged after Portsmouth parking badge incident

A MUM has been left outraged that she was unable to use her disabled parking badge when she took her daughter to a walk-in health centre.

Saturday, 12th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:50 pm
Clare Payne and daughter Amy Picture: Habibur Rahman

Clare Payne, from Havant, picked her daughter Amy Perry up from school after she had hurt her finger.

When arriving at St Mary’s walk-in centre, in Portsmouth, signs said disabled badge holders could park for free.

But at the reception Clare, who has a spinal condition, was told that she was unable to use her badge as the visit was not for her.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Clare, 44, said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. I was in utter shock.

‘I was asked if the disabled badge is in the name of the patient.

‘My daughter is nine years old. It’s not like she can take herself the hospital or can even drive.

‘I told them that I am her mum and I have to consent to any treatment that she has.

‘It’s not often I am stuck for words but I was then.’

Clare was then told that she could go and check with the main hospital if she was able to park for free with her badge.

She called parking company Total Parking Solutions, which validated the ticket for the day, but was told she would have to pay in the future by the hospital.

She added: ‘This was absolutely diabolical.

‘My dad is in a wheelchair and what if he took my mum to hospital?

‘They are asking people who are registered disabled to walk to another centre. He would have to wheel himself all the way over there.

‘I know at QA it is £1.80 for the day if you have a badge.

‘All the signs here clearly say disabled parking is free.

‘I just can’t get my head around it – it really is unbelievable.’

‘I’m not just doing this for myself but for other people as well. Other people may not think when they go to park there.’

Solent NHS Trust has since apologised for the incident.

A spokesperson said: ‘We don’t expect any blue badge holder to be denied parking and can categorically state the information given to this family was incorrect.

‘Our staff, who help validate parking, have been reminded of the correct process and we hope this was an isolated incident.

‘We would welcome an opportunity to meet the family and apologise.’