Trust raises parking charges at its hospitals
The trust which runs Grantham Hospital is increasing parking charges at its car parks by an average of 10p an hour.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) says the new prices will come into force at all of its hospital sites from Friday, November 23. The increase coincides with the introduction of a new system called ParkingEye which uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). The trust says the introduction of the new technology is in no way responsible for the increase in car parking fees.
Charges will increase to £1.70 for an hour from the current £1.60 charge. The cost of parking from one to four hours will increase from £3.80 to £4.20 and the cost of parking more than four hours will go up from £4.50 to £5. Blue Badge holders will pay a flat charge of £1.90 instead of the current cost of £1.70.
The ANPR system looks similar to CCTV cameras on the high street and captures the number plates of all vehicles entering and exiting the car parks. Information captured by these cameras provides an accurate picture of how long a car stays.
Patients using the car parks will be asked to pay at the end of their stay at one of the payment kiosks using their vehicle registration number, or via the Good2Go service which is a web-based automated payment system. Parking charge notices are generated and issued to those motorists parked inappropriately or who are in breach of the terms and conditions, such as non-payment.
The trust says the advantage of the ParkingEye ANPR system is that it is highly accurate, fair and transparent. The payment kiosks can take payments via coins, notes, credit/debit card, contactless, Apple/android pay and the kiosks can provide change.
Blue Badge holders will still be eligible for a parking concession by showing the picture portion of their blue badge to any reception area where they will receive a concessionary barcode to redeem at any payment kiosk. Any patients currently entitled to parking exemptions will continue to be eligible as part of the new system and should give their car registration number to the reception team as they book in for their appointment.
Every penny put into the machines for car parking will be retained by ULHT and used to cover the cost of providing car parking and security at its hospitals.
The trust says that funds raised from car parking are used to:
- Provide well maintained accessible car parks that are conveniently located for patients and visitors to Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals. As inflation goes up each year so will the associated costs.
- Make sure that money meant for patient care is not used to cover the costs associated with the provision and maintenance car parking.
- Invest in additional security across the trust.
- Ensure the trust meets the required national standards for the provision of car parking.
Paul Boocock, Director of Estates and Facilities at ULHT, said: “The Trust is currently experiencing significant financial pressures and has therefore taken the difficult decision to increase patient and public parking charges at our hospital sites.
“The cost of maintaining ULHT car parks continues to rise, so the decision to raise the prices was taken so we do not have to compromise or reduce investment in patient services.
“The increases are minimal and in line with local government rate rises, and still remain competitive and lower than most other NHS Trusts in the region.
“We are committed to providing the very best care possible and hope our patients and visitors understand the reasoning behind these price increases.”