In recent months, the Trust has been carrying out a wider review of car parking to address concerns raised by both staff and patients in relation to parking, particularly on the Middlesbrough hospital site.
Already a dedicated 1,100 space car park for staff has opened at Prissick Base which, in turn, allowed an additional 236 patient and visitor spaces to be created closer to hospital buildings.
Further investment includes replacing car park barriers and introducing new pay machines that accept card payments, to help resolve on-going issues around pay machines being broken, barriers not working correctly and patients and visitors not being able to pay by card.
The Trust is also looking at the introduction of parent and child car parking spaces close to children’s outpatients and the maternity reception following feedback from a recent patient survey.
The new patient and visitor charges – the first increase in over three years – will be implemented from 1 November and are as follows:
Director of Estates, Procurement & ICT, Kevin Oxley, said: “The money raised from car parking charges supports the significant costs to run, maintain and secure our hospitals car parks and to meet costs in line with increased inflation. Anything we raise over and above that is reinvested back into the Trust for frontline services.
“Over the next two years we will invest an additional £600,000 on improving our car parking facilities and while it is never a popular choice to increase our charges, it is necessary.”
In 2014, the Trust announced that it would start charging for blue badge holder parking - in line with other Trusts - but held off introducing this charge to enable special pay machines to be installed.
Blue badge parking will be a pay and display ticket at a reduced fee of £3 for 24 hours and will be implemented at The James Cook University Hospital in December 2017 and at the Friarage Hospital once building work on The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre is completed next year. A further review of car parking will also take place on our Northallerton site once this work is complete.
The Trust is also reminding drivers not to park on double red lines and pavements as this obstructs emergency vehicles and wheelchair access. Car parking charge notices will be issued to anyone not parking in an official space and these will be enforced.
Patients referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by their doctor, dentist or another health professional, may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.
More details can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcosts/pages/travelcosts.aspx