Memorandum submitted by Mr James Halsey
1. I am a lay person involved in the NHS
in a number of areas and do not feel sufficiently informed to
respond to all of the Terms of Reference.
2. A patient-carer journey to hospital for
many starts and ends with being transported by car and parking
on hospital premises is part of that journey. All should be done
to ensure as far as possible that the car parking part of the
journey runs smoothly, thus as far as possible reducing the already
raised stress levels as patient-carer enter the hospital proper.
3. I would like to respond in some detail
regarding public-carer and staff car parking at some hospitals
and have outlined my concerns and suggestions under the following
headings shown below.
4. PUBLIC CAR
Most appropriate system is to obtain a ticket
on entry and pay on exit at barrier. The public have enough to
worry about whilst in hospital and have no real idea how long
they will be and this system avoids the worry of being clamped
or receiving a ticket. The parking charges should be fair but
not punitive and the Trust could publish separate accounts detailing
the monies raised from car parking charges and where it is likely
to be spent. Any barrier system would need to accommodate speed
of access for emergency vehicles.
5. STAFF CAR
Some Hospital Trusts have staff parking spaces
allocated on a priority and non-priority criteria whereby staff
are asked to contribute a monthly amount taken directly from salary
but with no guarantee of finding a parking place. I think this
process is unreasonable, unfair and appears a revenue raising
process. With the majority of NHS staff being female, working
irregular hours, on shift work, sometimes living some distance
from the hospital and with difficult public transport links, action
is needed to address this unsatisfactory situation.
6. DISABLED PARKING
A limited number of disabled parking places
are normally available but problems arise when all these spaces
are taken. Some Trusts allow disabled drivers to park in paying
places without payment but some do not and Clear Guidance is needed.
Taking blood tests away from Acute Hospitals
and into the community would free up many parking places for use
by patient-carer and staff and also may be the preferred public
option but could result in a fall in revenue for the Trust.
8. Any future PFI project should give serious
consideration for allowing where possible adequate parking facilities.
4 December 2005