THE chief executive of the county's hospital trust has apologised for ongoing issues caused by parking problems at Worcestershire Royal and said he and his colleagues “continually explore ways” of increasing capacity.

Matthew Hopkins, of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said he and his team are committed to improving patient’s experience when visiting any of the trust’s sites.

"We are aware of the complex issues faced with car parking at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital site and apologise for any impact this has on any of the local residents."

He was speaking in light of city resident Pat Cooke’s experience dropping off a friend with a hip problem for an appointment on Tuesday in which she was forced to park 20 minutes’ walk away.

Unable to find a space at the hospital, Ms Cooke was forced to leave her 78-year-old friend at the exit barrier and park at Tesco.

On the return pick up, Ms Cooke, herself 76, collected her friend before crawling along for one hour and 15 minutes from the main entrance to the roundabout on Newtown Road at around 4.30pm.

She said: “So frustrating, but I really felt sorry for those patients having been discharged, not feeling good and just wanting to get home, ambulance drivers, people sat in a taxi not getting anywhere and buses not arriving on time for people to catch their connections home.

“Help is definitely needed – in our hospitals and with parking, but also as a result of the increased population brought about by the proposed new build in our locality, and surrounding areas,” added Ms Cooke, who lives off Astwood Road.

Asked what she thinks the solution is, she said “it’s too late” for trying to expand the car park, including creating a multi-storey or underground parking, adding: “I just don’t know what the answer is.[Perhaps] make more use of Sixways? Go there [to park] and get a bus [back to the hospital].”

Mr Hopkins said: “We continually explore ways in which we can increase our parking capacity as we are committed to improving our patient’s experience when visiting any of our sites, whether this be the experience in the car park or the experience when receiving care from our staff.”