OVER the past few months I have regularly attended Darlington Memorial Hospital for various tests due to recent illness. On most visits I have had difficulty finding a parking space and couldn’t understand why the car park should be so full when visiting is suspended due to the Covid restrictions and patients are not allowed to be accompanied to hospital.

On one of my visits I entered the car park at 8.15am and was overjoyed to find that there were still several free parking spaces.

Whilst sitting in my car for less than ten minutes, I counted 12 members of hospital staff parking in the public car park. Many were wearing the uniform of reception staff and I could clearly see NHS lanyards under jackets.

There is a staff only parking area at the hospital and although I appreciate it may fill up at times, it certainly wasn’t full at 8.15am.

Visitors to the hospital can only park in the public parking area and when those spaces are full, are forced to walk some considerable distance. Many people visiting a hospital are incapable of walking far, for a variety of reasons.

During the pandemic, getting others to drop patients off at hospital isn’t really an option, which means that every car park space counts.

While NHS staff are to be commended for the tireless work they have undertaken during the pandemic, I really appeal to those staff – no doubt a minority – who are parking inconsiderately and ask that they reflect on their actions.

Many members of the public including me took the time to applaud the NHS staff every Thursday night during the summer months. Respect should cut both ways.

Name and address supplied.