Parking for cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital disrupted by ‘unexpected maintenance work’

A number of car parking spaces close to Ipswich Hospital's oncology department have been cordoned of

A number of car parking spaces close to Ipswich Hospital's oncology department have been cordoned off as 'unexpected maintenance work' is carried out Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A cancer patient was shocked to discover a number of parking spaces near to the oncology ward were shut of tho the public on his first day of treatment at Ipswich Hospital.

Martin Lowe, 66, who lives near Woodbridge, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August and was set to undergo his first of 20 radiotherapy sessions on Wednesday.

But when he got there he found half of the spaces usually earmarked for cancer patients had been blocked off by contractors.

“I had gone up prior to Wednesday to suss it out and work out where I will park,” he said.

“I got there for my first day of treatment and found there were no spaces cause they had blocked it off.

“It just makes life a little bit more difficult when you are already under a certain amount of stress.

“If this was disabled spaces we know that the people in the disabled fraternity would be up in arms about it.”

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A spokesman for the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) said the disruption was caused by ‘unexpected and unplanned’ maintenance work.

He said unfortunately a pipe that needed fixing ran directly between row of 12 spaces, usually earmarked for those undergoing cancer treatment.

“We are sorry for any distress and inconvenience caused to our patients,” he said.

“There are 24 spaces for oncology and radiotherapy patients, 12 of which are currently out of action due to unexpected underground maintenance work.

“We are aiming to finish the work by the middle of this month, and in the meantime any oncology or radiotherapy patient that has a yellow parking slip, for use on treatment days only, can park in any of our hospital ground parking spaces, except disabled spaces, including Woodlands.”

Mr Lowe said his prostate cancer was diagnosed after an annual check up.

He urged other men to do the same, describing the cancer as a ‘silent killer’.

He said: “Having had family that have passed away with it I have had screening checks every year.

“I didn’t have any symptoms so there are literally thousands wondering around who have no idea they have prostate cancer.”

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