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Parking and hotels near The Royal Free Hospital.


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#1 Sooty30

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:05 PM

We received a call from the Royal Free a couple of days ago. My husband was meant to be starting a course of treatment once a month for 6 months, but they have shown his CT scan results to another specialist and they want to try another drug; I've no idea what it is called as my husband took the call but this time it will be once a week for a few weeks. We have to come to the Royal Free for treatment as nowhere closer to home can do it. They want him seen ASAP as they said his lung condition has come on really fast.

Is there anywhere decent to park near the Royal Free? I know you can at the hospital but spaces are limited and very expensive as we might be there 8 or more hours. Maybe a hotel? Not sure if I want to use public transport as will cost £108 for train tickets plus I'm worried it will be too much for my husband. He has to sit on the stairs to get his breath back if he just goes upstairs for the bathroom. I'm scared of driving in London but as we live in Essex I know I just need to get on with it as once I have done it a couple of times it will be okay. At least if he feels ill afterwards we won't have the hustle and bustle of the tube and train.

Does anyone know if we can claim back travelling or parking charges. We are not on any benefits and what I have read I'm thinking we won't be entitled. Has anyone had any luck getting a blue badge? I'm going to look into it as my husband is not able to walk any distance.

Many thanks for reading and helping me out.

#2 Joelf

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:58 PM

Hi Sooty,

Sorry to hear that your husband has to go weekly to The Royal Free.

There is a hotel right opposite the hospital; it is, however, quite expensive, despite being advertised by a well known comedian at a cheap rate. Not in the middle of Hampstead, I fear!! ;) :o

I've never driven to the Royal Free (like you I'm not very keen on driving through London) and have always travelled there by train and Underground. However, I'm pretty sure we've had other members who've travelled to The Royal Free by car, so hopefully they may be able to advise you about the best places to park.

I have a nasty suspicion that you won't be able to claim travelling or parking charges but it's certainly worth enquiring at the hospital.

My mother has just applied to renew her blue badge; the forms are more complicated now, due, I would imagine, to the number of fraudulent claims for them, but she qualified for one before as she has very little mobility so again it's worth your husband applying for one.

Best wishes,

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#3 Joelf

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

Sooty, I felt so sorry that I couldn't give you more help with your enquiry, but it just so happens that today I've renewed my pre-paid prescription certificate and I've found another link to Help With Health Costs. There is a section for "Necessary costs of travel to receive NHS treatment" and there's a booklet which includes "travel to receive NHS treatment under the care of a consultant, or through a referral by a doctor or dentist" (scroll to page 45) so it might be of help to you; I do hope so.

It's certainly worth a try!! ;)

My best wishes to you,

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#4 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:08 PM

Hello Sooty

Have a look at www.direct.gov.uk NHS travel costs and NHS low income scheme to see if you can get any help. Alternatively if you are a member of the Scleroderma Society you can make an application to their assistance fund for help with the costs. Are you going to travel there and back in one day or travel there, have treatment and stay overnight and return home the following day? There is a low cost establishment 5 minutes from the hospital where you can not only stay but park for free and as you know parking is at a premium at the Royal Free, not just in price but finding a space.

May I suggest that you get a wheelchair for your husband to use until he is able to breathe better? You go to your general practitioner (a sympathetic one so maybe see another one in the practice than the one who fobbed you off before, you are entitled to this so push for it) and all ou do is explain your husband can't walk as he can't breathe and you want an assisted wheelchair, they write out a note right then and there that you take to the occupational therapy department of your local hospital and they loan you a wheelchair right then and there. It is as simple as that and it's free, I know as I did this to get special crutches and a lady on this forums did it to get her wheelchair.

As much as neither of you will like using a wheelchair you have got to accept the need for it right now, your husband can't manage out of doors without one so make life easier for both of you and get one the someone pushes, they are called assisted wheelchairs.

I have had an assisted wheelchair (I bought it) for about 4 years now as I can't manage outdoors, I lived in denial for a year before I bought one thinking I would get better. Well after being in denial for a further 4 years I am finally going to buy an electric wheelchair, the consultant told me recently that my lower limbs are not going to get any better, neither are my hands, so if I want any sort of independence its got to be electric!

I notice that you live in Essex, would you both be interested in coming to the Scleroderma Society local group meeting that I host at my home? The next meeting in Saturday May 26th and you don't have to be a member of the Society to come. You both will find it helpful to meet with others who have scleroderma. If you are interested please PM me.

Take care.
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#5 Sooty30

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:26 PM

Amanda, thankyou for you your invite. I am at work that day; I leave the house at 5.30am and not back till 7.30pm so a long day. Another time would be good though.

Thank you for your information as well. Will speak to hubby about a wheelchair; I think I know what he will say at the moment but maybe he does need one now and again outdoors.

Do you know the name of the low cost place to stay? That may work well as we actually plan to drive up bank holiday Monday. They want him there for 9am so we thought to take pressure off as we would need to leave Harwich at silly o'clock and have to find it. I have never driven in London before and I was more worried about parking once there once there, plus not have to stress if we get stuck in traffic as the A12 is a nightmare in the rush hour. Maybe even stay a second night if he reacts to the treatment. I will have to wait and see; I just didn't want to get the tube and train because if he feels ill he can just sit in the car with no hassle.

Jo, thankyou also for your information links.

#6 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

Hello Sooty

I have sent you a PM with the hotel details as we can't mention brand names on the forums.

Take care.
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#7 KeiKei

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Heya,
I never thought to ask here for recommendations for parking and accommodation near the hospital! D'oh! So thank you Sooty for showing me the way :)

Last time I went I had a midweek, late afternoon appointment, so wasn't so bad for me to park cheaply on the outskirts and tube in. But this time they want to see me at 8am, the day after May bank holiday for a day of Iloprost. I'm coming down from Sheffield and stopping over with my folks in Oxford, before catching the coach and tubing the rest of the way. But still means I have to set off before any decent human being has any right to be awake :P So I suspect this may just be the end of me! Might be too late for a change of plans now, but I'm also heading back in June.

Soooooooo, I'm now cap in hand to borrow this post and hope Amanda takes pity on me, so that I may also get the name of the reasonably priced place to stay? Pretty please with a cherry on top? And a handful of extra sprinkles?

And if you're wandering about the hospital on the 8th Sooty, maybe see you & your hubbie there? I'll probably be the zombiefied looking one propped in a corner :P

"Listen, my philosophy is this: If you don't have a good sense of humor, you're better off dead." Roger Rabbit

#8 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:32 AM

Hello KeiKei

Zombiefied people at the Royal Free, that's the entire outpatient content of the rheumatology department on Thursdays (scleroderma clinic day)!! Be more specific please.

I have PM'd you the details of the low cost establishment and hope suggest you book your room now as they fill up awful quick, why I'll never know!

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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