From Newman Smith, Cowes:

Earlier this week I had to attend St Mary’s Hospital for a blood test. After the usual scenic tour searching for a parking place I entered the unit to find a Third World scene, a waiting room and corridor filled to capacity. Turning to leave, the obvious and inevitable thought came to mind of why are satellite blood clinics not dispersed around the Island? This would reduce pressure on St Mary’s and provide more convenience for patients.

However, on returning to the car park that conjecture was quickly overtaken by the sight of a disconsolate queue of 30-odd people waiting to pay on leaving at the ONE machine in operation. This latest nationally based parking enterprise over which the hospital has no real control is symptomatic of public authorities; introducing systems which are convenient to the authorities but ignoring the end user.

On a whim I visited the blood unit at Ryde Wellbeing Clinic.

I drove into a virtually empty, free-from-payment car park, walked into a silent and empty waiting area (which I understand was particularly unusual) and was immediately ushered into the unit and dispensed the sample.

I had won the NHS Lottery, my day was complete.