"Car Parking at Heartlands Hospital Birmingham"

About: Heartlands Hospital Kidderminster Treatment Centre - Acute Trust / General surgery Worcestershire Royal Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Gridlock on afternoon Monday 16th January. There is not enough room and there is no warning or contingency plan once the car park is full. There was no evidence of anyone in authority or taking charge of the situation. Cars were having to park on the verges, thus preventing two way traffic. More and more cars were entering a full car park whilst those who wanted to leave could not.

A simple counting mechanism on the electronic gates would prevent the car park from becoming overloaded as per public car parks. However there is no real alternative parking once the hospital parking is full.

There is a charge for parking.....is this used efficiently to address issues such as this?

People often travel a long way to get to this or any other hospital. We travelled 90 mins.

Patients or relatives are often ill or stressed or both. Delays cause patients to be late for appointments and thus the whole system fails.

Parking is a huge problem in all the hospitals I have had dealings with recently, particularly Worcester Hospital and Warwick and, but less so, Kidderminster.

Lack of land means either multistorey or more feasible a park and ride scheme.

This may seem low priority given all the other funding problems within the NHS but is a huge source of frustration and stress.

PS I have recently retired as a GP and really appreciate the service provided by the NHS. There is no other system as good in the World!

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Response from Patient Engagement Office and Project Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Please refer to the reply left on NHS Choices Website regarding this post.

Response from Sarah Ashurst, subscriber services manager, Patient Opinion

picture of Sarah Ashurst

Hi Heart of England

Can you post the link to the response you talk about?



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Response from Patient Engagement Office and Project Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Firstly ,may I apologise for the reponse above from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. This was put on the site in error.

I have been given the following response from our Head of Technical Services:

'May we apolgise for any distress you may have experienced due to car parking difficulties on 16 January. As you say, parking is a problem at most hospitals. Heartlands Hospital is our least congested site and problems are relatively rare. Where congestion does occur it is usually due to users having difficulty at exit barriers, causing traffic to back up.

We were concerned to learn that there were no security or parking officers controlling traffic, as one of their standing instructions is to monitor car parking congestion and deploy officers to assist with traffic management and clear the problem. Our security and parking contractors have been reminded of their obligation and the penalty clauses we can invoke for sub-standard performance.

Unfortunately the main visitors' car park does not lend itself to installing vehicle counters (although the barriers already have this facility), due to use by delivery and Estates vehicles which may exit by the barrier between staff and visitor car parks.

The Trust receives no ring-fenced funding for the provision and operation of car parks and we do not believe that resources intended for the delivery of healthcare should be diverted to effectively subsidise one of the least envrionmentally-sustainable forms of travel. For this reason we charge both visitors and staff for the use of our car parks. The income raised only supports the operation of car parks, so adding to capacity is only possible by raising charges or diverting Trust capital from clinical projects. We explored a 'park and ride' scheme some years ago, but this did not prove attractive to the vast majority of users.

We hope that you will find the above comments helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further queries.

Response from Head of Communications, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Sorry to hear you had difficulties parking when you have visited Worcestershire Royal Hospital in the past. We have recently received planning permission to create another 401 space car park which will increase parking spaces on site to 1,470. We are hoping that this will ease some of the pressures and enable patients and visitors to park more easily.