HOSPITAL bosses have apologised after dozens of parking fines were issued to cancer patients and their families in error.

A technology problem meant fines were dished out to some drivers who used Colchester Hospital's Radiotherapy Department car park at the start of 2020.

The car park is accessed using a coded barrier system and is free of charge for patients receiving radiotherapy treatment at the hospital or their loved ones.

Peter Halliday's family received two fines, each for an initial £35, after taking his mother to the Turner Road hospital on several occasions over the festive period.

He said: "Over the Christmas period we visited every day except Boxing Day.

"On New Year's Day my wife took my mum up there and on Wednesday last week we received a parking fine.

"My sister received one the following day. It is not a nice thing to happen.

"The hospital acknowledged there was a problem and said it wouldn't be followed up, but you never know with these parking companies.

"To be fair to them it is a really good system and the fact they offer free parking is great, but this shouldn't happen.

"I wanted to pay it straight away but it was my wife who suggested querying it.

"Hopefully other people don't just pay the fine and they make sure they query it."

Colchester Hospital said people who have been fined incorrectly due to the system issue should get in touch as soon as possible.

Unpaid fines which have been issued incorrectly will be cancelled and refunds will be arranged for any which have already been paid in error.

Fiona Sparrow, head of facilities for East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust which runs Colchester Hospital, apologised for the problem.

She said: "We are fully committed to offering free parking to our patients receiving radiotherapy and apologise for any distress caused because of this technology issue.

"The issue has now been fixed, so patients can again park with the confidence they won’t be charged.”

Contact or speak to staff at the radiotherapy reception desk at your next visit if you've received a fine incorrectly.