GETTING AROUND THE NEW SOUTHMEAD HOSPITAL
This is a report made from the personal experience of a member of Parkinson’s UK who visited the hospital a number of times recently and has given some suggestions which might make a visit easier.
If you are mobile by far the least stressful way is to avoid the parking nightmare and go by bus from the Ashton Gate Park & Ride. Buses leave every half-hour and the journey takes about half an hour. The bus stops right outside the hospital main door.
ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME to get to your appointment.
Bear in mind that once in the hospital you may have to queue at reception and then it can take up to 15 minutes to get to the appropriate clinic or consulting room.
If you are travelling by car to the hospital and your carer is driving, be aware that even if you have not got a disabled badge you may drive up to the main door and stop on the double yellow lines whilst the carer goes inside to collect a wheelchair (£1 coin needed) from just inside the entrance on the right.
Whether the patient is in a wheelchair or ambulant you will then need need to check in or be checked in by the carer at reception, where you will be allocated a volunteer ‘Movemaker” (in a green or pink shirt) who will take you to your appointment. If you have one, take your mobile phone with you so that you can maintain contact with your carer.
Wheelchairs are scarce so your chair may be returned to the foyer (and the Movemaker will return your £1) and when your appointment is completed the nurses will ring for a Movemaker to collect you and return you to the foyer.
MAKE SURE your carer/driver knows the time and place of your appointment.
While the patient is going to the consulting area the driver will have to park the car and then find their patient.
If the driver is the patient and has a disability badge, it would probably be possible to park the car in one of the very few restricted short-term disabled bays in front of the main entrance. The parking attendants are practical individuals who are there to help you and should be able to allocate somewhere to park, e.g. disabled parking or on the taxi rank.
For drivers who can walk some distance, please note that on the way to the multi-storey car park you should look out for Elgar House where there are a few disabled bays. If you have to use the multi-storey, remember that if the disabled bays are full you may park in any bay free if you display the patient’s blue badge.