On Tuesday 5th April 2011, I attended a meeting at the Department of Health, which you can read about here: Patients pleas to health minister
However I’m writing this blog to tell you all about the horrible way I was treated by a member of a staff at Euston Station. The journey from Birmingham New Street to London Euston was absolutely fine but the return journey was a different matter!
I was booked on the train departing at 18:13 from London Euston. My mum and I arrived at the station approximately 40 minutes early and checked in at the Mobility Assistance office. We were told to wait until the train arrived and assistance staff would be ready to help with the ramp to board the train.
We waited in the office until the lady at the desk told us to go down to Platform 16 and that someone would be there to help us. By this time it was 18:02 but there was no staff to assist us. We waited by the train for approximately 2-3 minutes and two staff members arrived. They assisted me onto the train, but as soon as I got in they told me to get off the train because they had mistakenly put me in the wrong section of the train. (Only the first four carriages were to continue onto Birmingham New Street, but they had put me in one of the end carriages).
This meant I had to get off the train and go to the other end of the platform to board onto the correct carriage. However there was still plenty of time, by now it was 18:10. As the Assistance staff were placing the ramp down for me, the doors started closing and slamming into the ramp. We were all very confused and as we looked down the platform, we saw the Train Dispatcher signaling for the doors to close and the train to leave. He started shouting at us that we were too late and to move out the way. The Assistance staff questioned him and asked what he was doing as there was still time left. He kept repeating to move the ramp out of the way which was still being slammed by the doors. In the end the Assistance staff reluctantly moved the ramp and the train left.
As soon as this happened the Train Dispatcher disappeared. We were left standing there in shock and anger and decided to report this incident. Therefore we went to find out the name of the Train Dispatcher by enquiring from the London-Midland Duty Manager. He assured us that both him and the Network Rail Manager would be fully investigating the matter. After finding out the name of the Train Dispatcher we were given a complaint form and taken to the next platform where we had to wait for over half an hour for the next train to Birmingham.
It was horrible to have experienced such ignorant and unprofessional attitude from staff. This incident was really shocking for the two Assistance staff as well; they had never seen such behaviour before.
I have since written a complaint, in which I mentioned points covered in our ‘End of the Line’ report. I am awaiting a reply and will keep you all updated!