DISABLED patients parking at east Berkshire hospitals are facing challenging journeys to claim back parking charges.

From November 27 blue badge holders who visit Wexham Park, Frimley Park and Heatherwood hospitals have had to pay to leave their vehicles in the car park.

Some patients, such as Easthampstead resident Susan Brind, can claim the price of their ticket back thanks to a low-income allowance.

The practicalities of this have proved difficult for the arthritis sufferer however.

She said: “Trying to get hold of the forms is a laugh.

"Earlier today I had to go to Frimley Park hospital. It says to ask the department you are going to for the forms. I went to the eye department and they said we don't have any forms go to the main reception.

"That was far too far for me to walk."

Fortunately for Ms Brind her carer was on hand to pick up the documents, not a solution for those who travel to the hospital by themselves who can end up walking hundreds of metres through the hospital to source the forms.

The delay in receiving the refund can also be problematic.

Ms Brind continued: "Last year I was taking my daughter to Frimley Park three times a week trying to claim back.

"I took three weeks for the money to come through after I claimed it back. The car park is very expensive.”

The Trust has been contacted for specific comment.

When the announcement was first made a spokesperson said: "Another important aspect of the review is the discontinuation of automatic free parking for blue badge holders.

"This was a very difficult decision for the trust’s board of directors, but it was taken on the principle that charges should be based on affordability for all patients, including blue badge holders. A number of other hospital trusts have also taken this decision.

"Any patients, including blue badge holders, who are entitled to free parking through low income or benefits will still be able to reclaim the cost of parking, and the process for doing this will be made clear. Providing the best possible access for blue badge drivers will be our priority."