"Car parking instructions are not clear"

About: The Townsville Hospital

(as a service user),

Good afternoon,

I am writing to express concerns regarding the current parking machines which are in place at the Townsville General Hospital (TGH). These machines are often the site of much confusion to members whom are there, to obviously pay for their parking. I try to avoid the TGH but the times I have gone, these machines have always got a bunch of confused people around them.

Now, I am positive a lot of the general public have used ticket machines in their lives. These are without doubt the worst machines I have used to pay a ticket.

Firstly, when you have inserted the ticket into the station, it automatically comes up with the payment option to pay $5 or to Cancel. There is also another option, but, I forgot to write/take a photo of the screen, due to the que of people behind me who were also paying their ticket. On the actual machine - not on the screen - it says "60 minutes free parking. " That is fantastic.

But, where is the acknowledgement of someone being within their "60 minute free parking"? ? As I said, there is no clear direction on the screen. All that needs to be added, is another prompt of:

"You are within the limit of 60 minutes free parking. No charge. "

Instead, there is nothing to let someone know that they are within their entitled free parking. After all, how many people, when they are stressed, upset, tired, angry, hungry etc and going to stop and 'read the manual' on how to pay their parking ticket. This needs to be simplified. Fast.

Secondly, when the confusion as to 'do I pay or not pay? ? ? ' arose, the quickest way to get help was from the contractor who was coming in to take all the money from the machine. Yes, the contractor who takes the money from the machine was kind enough to let the crowd know that you don't have to pay the $5 that automatically comes up when you are under 60 minutes in the TGH. Instead, as he said 'just cancel the ticket and put your ticket in the machine when you exit the carpark. '

Seriously, this is how simple it should have been in the first place. Now, I am sure the creators of the machine are currently raking in the money from people putting in $5 for less than 60 minutes worth of free parking.

As I wrote earlier, the people using these machines are sometimes in an emotional state so don't write and say that the machine states that there is 60 minutes of free parking. If this were the case, why has it accepted my $5 when I have paid the $5 in the past for being under 60 minutes? ? The machines are not clear. The direction on if you are being charged/don't need to be charged needs to be more clear and concise.

Thank you,


Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services We are preparing to make a change

Dear Intelligent yet still confused,

Thank you for telling us of your experience of using our parking ticket machines. Reading your story reminds me of how much we take for granted and assume that everyone will understand the processes we impose on our patients, their families, and our community.

Thank you for highlighting this issue for us. We have actually had concerns raised previously about our parking payment process which we thought we had addressed adequately, however your story tells us that there is more we should do.

I am sorry you have experienced difficulties with the payment system and I truly hope that you have not paid unnecessarily.

I have notified our Hospital Campus Manager of the issues you have identified so that together, we can undertake a thoughtful and well-timed review.

Once again, thank you Intelligent yet confused for sharing your experience of using our facilities at our hospital as it really is vital that we listen to all suggestions and feedback to identify the things we do well and the things that we could do better.

With kind regards

Julie Shepherd

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Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear Intelligent yet still confused,

I am writing to you to provide you with an update as a result of your feedback regarding the parking ticket machine process at our hospital.

Our hospital Campus and Security Services Managers and I, ‘walked in the patients shoes’ to scrutinise the parking ticket machine process and instructions for payment. This review resulted in an agreement that the system certainly could be improved.

I have had word from our Campus Manager, and I am happy to report to you, that the entire parking practices will be reviewed. Preparation work is now underway for the review!

So thank you once again for sharing your story with us so that we can learn from your experience.

With kind regards

Julie Shepherd

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Update posted by Intelligent yet still confused (a service user)

Dear Julie Shepherd,

Thank you for taking the time to write back and look into the parking ticket process.

I hope the review will improve the payment process with the ticket machine.

Kind regards,

T. Miller.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story