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Car Parking Charges

1 June 2005

Changes to the patient and visitor car parking charges at West Suffolk Hospital will be introduced on Monday June 6.

This will mean an increase of 20p per visit for visitors and an increase of 10p per day for staff.

The new tariffs for visitors will be

Up to two hours £2.20

Two to four hours £3.20

Four to six hours £5.20

Six to 24 hours £10.20

For staff:

Staff (with smart Card) 50p

Staff (with permit) £10 a month (pro rata for part time staff)

The Trust's board reviews parking charges annually. This increase will mean that an extra £90,000 can be put into hospital services.

The Trust continues to do everything it can to ease the parking situation at West Suffolk Hospital. A new temporary additional parking area with 130 spaces at the hospital will open in the summer subject to planning permission. Plans are also being developed to move the staff car park from the front of the hospital to the back of the site. This will create additional visitor parking nearer the main entrance and a larger area for the oversubscribed staff car park at the back.

Chief Executive Chris Bown said: "No one likes to have to put car parking charges up. But the simple reality is that £90,000 is the cost of a consultant or several nurses.

"We also have to pay for car parking attendants, lighting, CCTV and repairs to tickets machines. If we cannot put charges up then we have to find the money from elsewhere. Car parking charges makes us money but every penny goes back into the hospital so that we do not have to reduce spending on clinical services.

"Our parking charges are cheaper than those charged by Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in Norwich and are comparable with Ipswich Hospital.

"We fully appreciate that parking is a problem on the site. In the last three years we have created an additional 350 car parking spaces. We have a planning application with the local council for an additional 130. We also want to ensure that the majority of car parking for our visitors is at the front of the hospital and this why we are moving the staff car parking to the back making it more convenient.

"We will also be writing to Suffolk County Council to urge them to look at providing more bus services from the town to the hospital so people have an alternative to using their cars."

Last year the Trust introduced a concession to help people who have to make frequent visits to hospital for patient appointments or to visit relatives. For example, patients may purchase a weekly permit for £8 or a monthly permit for £35 if they are required to attend the hospital frequently.

In addition, clinical departments and wards hold a Temporary Car Park permit books to issue to patients who are delayed and need to remain in the hospital for more than two hours. People on certain benefits can reclaim their parking fee by filling in a form available from the ward or clinic at which they are being seen.

The hospital also has special drop-off points at the day services unit and treatment centre and a free parking area for those who will come and go in 30 minutes.



West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust