Blood donation parking situation 'ridiculous', says 100-time donor
PUBLISHED: 17:22 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:23 06 January 2020
A long-time blood donor in Ipswich has hit out after being turned away from the Ipswich Town FC car park while dropping of his wife for her appointment to donate.
Trevor Calver, 71, and his wife Beryl, 73, are both regular blood donors living in Belmont Road, Pinewood, and drove to the football club so that Mrs Calver could donate on December 31.
However Mr Calver, who has donated more than 100 times in his life, said he was shocked to be turned away from the gate of the football club, despite arriving with his dated parking permit as required.
"I couldn't understand it, we had no problem using the permit previously, but when we pulled up to the car park we were turned away for 'security reasons' - no one told us what they were," said Mr Calver.
"I might catch the bus if I'm donating but my wife would rather go by car in case she feels faint afterwards, so we drove expecting to be able to use the permit the NHS post to you before you go.
"It's ridiculous, it's not very spirited as you're trying to do something good."
Mr Calver was left with no choice but to park in a nearby car park and pay for a ticket.
Despite parking permits being issued to Mr Calver and other donors, the football club say the NHS did not request parking availability on New Years' Eve and requested pedestrian access via Portman Road only.
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The club confirmed that car park access has been requested and granted to the blood donation service before.
The miscommunication appeared to affect a number of donors, according to Mr Calver.
"You only have a 10-minute window to turn up to your appointment in or they have to move on to someone else, they can't afford to fall behind," added Mr Calver.
"I spoke to the nurses when I picked my wife up and they said other people had been affected by the car park and missed appointments."
On the blood.co.uk website, advice for parking at the football ground appears to indicate it has been reinstated for their next visit on January 16.
The advice says: "Please ensure you bring your DHC (donor health check) forms with you to the session along with proof of your appointment as this will be used for security checks at the venue.
"Please note your parking permit is valid for 1.5 hours after your appointment time only.
"Please use the entry on Constantine Road for parking."