Daughter misses mum’s death while struggling to find hospital parking spot
4th December 2018

A heartbroken daughter missed saying a final goodbye to her dying mum because she couldn’t find a parking space in the hospital car park.

Lauraine Griffiths, 56, was told her mum Phyl was "very distressed and struggling" so immediately drove the five miles from her home to be by her side.

But she says she spent around 20 minutes driving around the car park desperately trying to find a space, Kent Live reports.

By the time she got to the ward at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent, Lauraine was tragically told her mum had died.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said it was "extremely sorry" and is now progressing a planning application to build more spaces at the hospital.

But the grieving daughter said: "How I felt when they told me is beyond words. I can’t begin to describe it.

"I had been driving round and round, feeling sick with my heart in my mouth. I had been with my mum for eight years and been by her side and I couldn’t get to her.

"It is shameful how they can build a ‘state-of-art’ hospital where you can’t park. Everyone can see there isn’t enough parking. It’s wrong. It’s an amazing hospital and they just didn’t think it through."

Phyl, a retired marketing manager, had been ill for some time but died of a heart attack in May.

She had worked for many years for well-known company PPP, now part of AXA PPP Healthcare.

More than 2,000 employees work at Tunbridge Wells Hospital but it only has 818 staff car parking spaces. There are 447 spaces for visitors at the £230million hospital, which opened in 2011.

A spokesman for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said: "We are extremely sorry that the family was not able to be with the patient at a very sad and difficult time.

"While no words can adequately address their loss, our heartfelt and deepest sympathies are extended to the family and we very much wish the circumstances could have been different.

"We have been working with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, through their pre-application process, to look at extending one of our existing car parks.

"The council has considered our pre-application acceptable and we now need to undertake a number of assessments of the potential site. It’s too soon to say how many spaces this may provide."

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