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Parking Fine for Sick Schoolgirl's Mum

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8:53am 5th April 2012

The mum of a critically ill St Just schoolgirl has been slapped with a £40 parking fine as she sat by her blind daughter's hospital bedside.

Sherry Parsons was discussing an end of life plan with doctors; what would happen if little Nicole died.

Sherry says she parked in a 30 minute bay because there were no other spaces and she was desperate to be with the eight year old: "It's not very nice having to look at forms which ask you where you want your child's body to be left and what resuscitation you want and what you don't want. They're awful situations to be in and to then have a fine on top of that is just really awful.

"It then turned into anger because you've then got to explain what you've been doing to a complete stranger in the middle of a car park where everybody else can hear you, personal details. Then when you tell them what it is, because they're just Joe Public, they don't know what an end of life plan is anyway".

Q-Park, which runs the car park at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, has retracted the fine.

It has released this statement: Q-Park are responsible for the management of the car park on behalf of the Royal Cornwall Hospital and part of the responsibility is to provide a safe and secure environment which included managing good traffic flow within the car park. In order to achieve this Q-Park created 12 spaces available for visitors to drop off and pick up patients close to the entrance. These spaces are provided to visitors on a free of charge basis and can be used for up to 30 minutes to ensure availability for other visitors and help maintain the safe traffic flow. In order to guarantee this, Q-Park may impose a fine for stays of over 30 minutes in accordance with the parking policy of the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

In special circumstances, the Hospital will make Q-Park aware of visitors who may have to stay for longer than the original paid period. In these situations the hospital will pass Q-Park their car details and Q-Park will ensure they do not impose any such fines.

Unfortunately in this situation the Hospital had not made Q-Park aware of Mr & Mrs Parsons situation and so a fine was imposed but this has since been retracted. We are sorry to hear about the distress that this has caused at a particularly emotional time for them.

Q-Park and the Royal Cornwall Hospital will continue to work together to ensure that we give the very best service to all visitors to the car park".

8:53am 5th April 2012

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