Thursday 25 July 2024
츣 Foundation Trust

Car Parking at 츣 District Hospital

Information about the car parking situation at 츣 District Hospital: 

The discussion around car parking at the hospital needs to be put into some context. On the 54-acre site 츣 District Hospital has capacity for 450 inpatients per day, sees 250,000 outpatients per year and has a workforce in excess of 5,000. To cater for this, the hospital currently provides 2,177 spaces for car parking. There are 720 for patients and visitors which includes 20 drop-off bays, 115 spaces for blue badge holders and 14 spaces for charging staff and visitor electric vehicles, the remainder are for staff. Following the launch of the staff hopper bus, in March 2024, with changes in car parks 8 & 9, 40 parking spaces were transferred from staff to patients.

Between June 2023 and May 2024, there were 9,727 Parking Charge Notices (PCNs), the majority issued to the registered keeper of vehicles that had not completed a payment for their parking at the hospital, this includes staff, patients, and visitors. Many of these were rescinded when mitigation was provided following a complaint, an issue being raised directly with the parking team or after an appeal by the driver. During this period 2,770 (28%) PCNs were cancelled, leaving a balance of 6,957, an average of 580 per month.

The number of PCN cancellations and appeals will always be higher at a hospital than in other parking locations, given the mitigation drivers will have when visiting a hospital, for example, compassionate grounds.

In November 2018, prior to the introduction of Automatic Number Plate recognition (ANPR) 700 PCNs were issued, with a routine number being approximately 500 per month. The issuing of PCNs for non-payment is not new.

The number of PCNs issued is currently reducing to the level experienced before the introduction of ANPR (500 per month). The hospital has improved signage, increased the number of locations drivers can validate their Blue Badge, and added four more pay stations.

As of January 2024, 75.2% of car park income is via a contactless card payment and only 8% in cash, with 16.8% being via the app, which also allows drivers to pay up to 24 hours after leaving the hospital site. In May 2024 1,126 late pay transactions were received via the app.

In the near future, the hospital will be installing additional locations where Blue Badges can be validated and extending the maximum time between validations from six months to 12 months. Once the building work has been completed on the new Imber Ward, up to 50 additional public spaces will become available.

Lisa Thomas, Interim Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“There is no doubt that there are issues with car parking at the hospital; the number of people visiting the site continues to rise while our capacity to provide parking spaces is restricted.  I am sorry that the building work on the new ward coinciding with the new ANPR system has caused stress to many of our patients, visitors and staff. We have listened to concerns and hopefully the steps we have taken to improve the system will have an impact. We will continue to respond compassionately to people who have genuine reasons why they weren’t able to pay for parking.

To help alleviate the pressure on the car parks hospital staff are encouraged to use alternative means of transport whenever possible. The Trust has improved facilities for cyclists and has a number of electric bikes that can be used on trial schemes. There is a generous discount on 츣 Reds buses for our staff, there is a car share scheme and there is a pilot staff-only hopper bus service from the Britford Park & Ride.

In addition, many staff now work from home and we are increasing the number of online consultations to reduce the need for patients to travel.

But the harsh reality remains that parking at the hospital will remain under pressure, we neither have the immediate space or resources to comply with any further planning applications to increase car parking. It is important we continue to be compliant with the Wiltshire Council sustainability agenda and have our own ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions on site.

The limited financial resources available to 츣 Hospital are focussed on improving direct patient care, supporting our staff and renewing the very old infrastructure of the hospital, with a new Day Surgery Unit being a key priority for capital investment.

19 June 2024

Our staff at 츣 District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

Person Centred & Safe





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