Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Weekend Read: Hexham Hospital Car Parking -good news as the NHS Trust change their policy and halve the cost

Parking charges will be reduced by half at Hexham General Hospital from next week. This is extremely welcome news that we have been able to find this compromise with the NHS Trust.

I have long campaigned for a reduction in car parking charges and Hexham being the pilot for the halving of the daily parking rate is a fantastic step in the right direction. Over many years we have campaigned for reduction in parking charges in Hexham and when the town went free I then called on the Trust to reduce their parking charges; and I am pleased they have listened.

Visiting friends and family in hospital can be a deeply worrying time. The last thing people need at such times is to worry about parking. Northumbria NHS Trust is an outstanding Trust with exemplary staff and quality service, and this change in parking policy is one I very much welcome. I hope they also consider their approach to parking charges to their staff as part of this review.

The details of the change are that:
- The new pilot scheme will see the maximum daily charge for parking reduce from £4 to £2. In addition, patients and visitors paying to park for an hour (£1.20) or a day (£2) will receive a free regular hot drink available at either the hospital’s café or restaurant.
- For patients and visitors to claim this, the trust is introducing a split ticket – where one part is left in the vehicle and the other part detached to present in the café/restaurant.
- The daily charge will apply for 24 hours from the time of payment so someone visiting in the evening will also be covered should they need to return the next day. 
- Patients and visitors who only need to stay for short periods can still make use of the free 20-minute period in place to assist pick-ups and drop-offs.
- Payment machines and signage are to be changed for the new system, which comes into effect on Monday 1 December.