Fears ‘heartbreaking’ East Surrey Hospital traffic jams could delay ambulances

A driver trapped in a gridlock at East Surrey Hospital has said she fears queues could delay emergency vehicles.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 5:03 pm

Sam Wallington, who lives in Barns Green, said she was stuck in ‘nose to tail’ traffic for 45 minutes yesterday when she took her mum to an appointment.

She said: “There was two lanes of cars getting into the car park. It was phenomenal.

“It was 2.30pm in the afternoon when we got there. What happens if an ambulance needs to get to the hospital.

A visitor reported a 45 minute queue to get into the car park.
A visitor reported a 45 minute queue to get into the car park.

“There was nowhere anybody could move to. Everybody was completely nose to tail.”

But Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said it is experiencing ‘unprecedented demand’ for its services.

Vehicles were queueing from the Three Arches Road turning to the hospital car park, which was full, Sam added.

She said: “It astounded me - it was horrific.

“We’re drowning with regards to infrastructure in the area.

“It’s heartbreaking. It was very upsetting and quite scary.”

Sam said she felt ‘compelled’ to raise the issue but said all the staff at the hospital are ‘excellent’.

She added: “East Surrey covers a vast area.

“We have a duty to build new homes. Those have to come hand in had with the correct infrastructure.”

Michael said: “[We] recognise that people have been experiencing some congestion and delays getting into our car parks.

“We ask anyone coming to the hospital for planned appointments to leave in good time.

“While we have increased car parking spaces by 15 per cent in the last five years, we are also working with the council to see if access and congestion can be improved, and will continue to explore other ways of improving parking availability.

“Please be assured that ambulances are able to access the emergency department.”

News of the delays sparked a public outcry on the County Times Facebook page.

Barbara Richards said: “The pressure on the health services in this area is unsustainable.”

Lisa Sherlock branded the situation ‘crazy’ and Annabel Morgan added it was ‘horrendous’.

Sylvia Riley said: “By the time you manage to find a parking space you feel absolutely stressed out and even more unwell.”

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