Preston and Chorley Hospitals' boss on the reasons for car parking charges
A new charging system is being introduced for car parking at the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals.
The changes are part of an overhaul of parking at the two sites which will begin later this year.
Here's what Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, had to say about the reasons behind the move:
"We absolutely recognise the importance of car parking on the experiences of our staff and their ability to perform their roles which is why we are undertaking this review. We’ve also continually received feedback from staff on the matter and so rightly acted upon this.
From the deputy editor: Parking charge a tough choice
“The current arrangements have the potential to impact on the care we provide to patients when staff are late for work or unduly stressed by not being able to find a parking space. We are sure that most people appreciate any action which aims to improve patient care is a worthy one.
“Staff who choose to park in the streets near Royal Preston Hospital do so at their own personal choice and we realise that some local residents around our hospitals have concerns about this. Staff are continually reminded to park with courteous consideration for local residents.
“The cost of our staff parking has been frozen since December 2010, however we have continued to invest in creating additional spaces and improving our car park environments with additional lighting for example.
“Our current concessions and exemptions approach is only applicable for a small number of our patients so we want to create a much more equitable system for people who are regularly attending or visiting for long periods of time.
“We appreciate that not everyone agrees that hospitals should charge for car parking, however we believe that the cost of providing safe and secure car parks should not be taken from budgets intended for patient care and treatment.
“The money recouped from the charges will be used to maintain and improve the car parks, including an improved security and car park management system as well as reinvested back into patient care.”