Select Committee on Health Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Mr James Halsey (CP 6)

  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 PARKING

  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 PARKING

  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.

7.  SUGGESTION

  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.

James Halsey

4 December 2005





 
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