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Charter for hospital parking launched

11 March 2010

The British Parking Association (BPA), backed by the NHS Confederation and the Healthcare Facilities Consortium, launched a Charter for Hospital Parking this week.

The Charter is designed to help and encourage NHS Trusts to provide parking management systems that are fair for all. The issue of parking management at hospitals is a hot topic, regularly debated, and in response to this the BPA has produced guidelines to help Trusts and car park operators deliver effective and efficient parking for users – many of whom have particular needs. Patrick Troy, chief executive, of the British Parking Association, said: “There has been much debate about parking at hospitals and we hope our Charter will provide some much needed direction for this particular sector, and therefore we are encouraging all NHS trusts to sign up.”
Bringing together the interests of hospital car park users (staff, visitors and patients), Government, local authorities and commercial organisations, the Charter will be circulated to all NHS Trusts across the UK. Its aim is to strike the right balance between fairness for patients and visitors and hospital staff, as well as the Trust itself. Some NHS Trusts, including Blackpool, have already indicated their support for the Charter, are expected to be amongst the first to sign up, and many parking operators have already added their name to the Charter.
The recommendations made in the charter will commit NHS Trusts, and their parking contractors, to:
1. Do their best to provide a high standard of management and customer service.
2. Provide good lighting, high standards of maintenance, simple-to-use payment equipment, clear signage and clearly marked parking bays.
3. Reasonable tariffs and tariff structures, set in consultation with users, and on the basis of need, supply and demand and the actual costs of providing the service.
4. Consider best practice advice available from organisations like the BPA, Department of Health and NHS Federation. In particular, costs and income associated with running car parks should be transparent and published.
5. Make concessionary parking available to patients with long-term illnesses or serious conditions needing long term treatment (eg: dialysis, radiotherapy or chemotherapy), or people who need to visit patients regularly.
6. Ensure that there are enough disabled parking spaces.
7. Design systems to recognise the unavoidable, unplanned and unpredictable nature of visits to hospitals, and ensure that enforcement action does not penalise people whose contravention of parking rules could not have been avoided.
8. Ensure that enforcement is proportionate, with a focus on encouraging compliance. Such enforcement activities must adhere to the BPA Approved Operator Scheme Code of Practice and Operators must be members of the Approved Operator Scheme in order to manage hospital car parks.
A full copy of the charter is available at http://www.britishparking.co.uk/news_list.php. The Charter should be read in conjunction with the Approved Operator Scheme Code of Practice.


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