PAH: Car parking charges for patients and visitors to be reinstated
Health / Wed 28th Oct 2020 at 02:08pm
FROM Tuesday, 1 December, The Princess Alexandra Hospital will be reinstating car parking charges for its patients and visitors. Car parking for Blue Badge holders will now be free.
At the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, car parking charges for patients and visitors at hospitals across the country were waived by the government. The government has now announced that nationally, funding to support hospitals to do so is to stop.
The tariffs will remain the same as those previously in place before the charges were nationally waived at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For patients and visitors, these are:
Patients and visitors will also see recent improvements to car parking allocation on site, with spaces now designated for patients and visitors in alternative locations. This work is being carried out ahead of the opening of the new Adult Assessment Unit and Fracture Clinic in the next few months to significantly improve the facilities available for patients. Spaces for patients and visitors are clearly signposted.
Patients and visitors can pay at the machines on site or as before, they will have the option to pay online, via an app or over the telephone up to 24 hours after their visit if they prefer. To pay after their visit, patients and visitors can download the paybyphone app, visit www.paybyphone.co.uk or call 0330 400 7275.
Car parking for Blue Badge holders will now be free. Blue Badge holders should display the clock section of their Blue Badge in their vehicle window and present the photo section to one of the following, depending on the location they are visiting:
Out of hours (from Monday to Sunday, 6pm-8am) patients and visitors should attend the emergency department (ED/A&E) reception to present the photo section of their Blue Badge.
If patients and visitors are running late and have not had time to present the photo section of their Blue Badge at any of these locations in advance, they should speak to the staff at the ward or department they are visiting for advice when they arrive for their appointment.
PAHT provides a large number of bays for Blue Badge holders, which are positioned close to entrances. Staff will be available at the car park locations to support patients or visitors as required.
The exemptions will apply as before for patients or relatives if they are regularly attending the William’s Day Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Gibberd Ward or Labour Ward, and people who are eligible via the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
Ward staff will advise if patients or relatives are eligible for a concessionary parking permit and will help with completing the application form.
The free period of 20 minutes for dropping off and picking up will also be reinstated.
Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, as with all hospitals across the country, we received funding from the government which supported us to enable car parking to be free of charge for all. As this government funding has ceased, it is now necessary for us to reinstate car parking charges for our patients and visitors.
“We are committed to implementing measures to protect our patients and visitors, including the hand washing and sanitising stations we have positioned at every entrance to the hospital.
“We would urge all patients and visitors to familiarise themselves with the car parking arrangements ahead of 1 December, if possible. Help and guidance will also be available on site from our dedicated car parking attendants, or from our teams at the ward or department you are visiting, if there are any questions once the car parking charges are reinstated. We appreciate the support of all of our patients and visitors.”
So car parking charges are to be reinstated just as furlough comes to an end and the second wave of Covid is kicking in. Essex is in Tier 2. My question for the Government is - Where is the joined up thinking?
Car parking charges for patients and visitors is questionable at best. Is it right to profit from those who are ill? The article above does not state what the parking charges are for the meducal staff. Are doctors and nurses also required to pay £6 a day so they can do their job? I hope not but my expectations are low,
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