From Sue McQuinn
REPORT ON MEETING WITH PAUL BOOCOCK, ULHT ESTATES & FACILITIES DIR & IAN HAYDEN, ULHT ESTATES & FACILITIES MGR – 5 TH JULY 2019
As with previous meetings I began by making clear how much dislike there is for this system & my own belief that PE is not a suitable company to be operating hospital car parks. They acknowledge there have been & still are issues but gave a couple of instances where people had praised PE. Just over 2 weeks ago I sent Paul 22 examples of issues I’d been made aware of in the previous 3 weeks & since then I’ve been made aware of a further 18.
Obviously, I only hear about a fairly small percentage.
The PE contract is for 5 years, with the option of a further year. I asked if it was likely to be renewed. Met with what I’d describe as ‘no comment.’
My FOI request to see the full text of the contract is still outstanding & I pointed out the ICO had written to them to advise they could be held in contempt if they didn’t respond. PB & IH seemed surprised it hadn’t been complied with, they saw no reason why a redacted version shouldn’t be made available. They will chase Jayne Walker for this.
PB advised he was working to get the figures I had requested on the no. of PCNs issued, appealed, appeals upheld & PCNs cancelled as a result of direct intervention by ULHT.
BLUE BADGE HOLDERS, CONCESSIONS, DAILY RATE & PREPAYMENT VOUCHERS.
I sought clarification on the new voucher system for FREE PARKING CONCESSIONS & BLUE BADGE REGISTRATION.
ULHT has been telling people to go to ‘register’ for free parking and this is causing confusion between the two. The procedures were confirmed as follows:
Blue badge holders – They should register their vehicle when they visit a hospital. This will mean that on subsequent visits they only have to go to the kiosk to pay the reduced BB fee. Up to 3 different vehicles can be registered against one BB. BB holders can now use the Good2go system. The £1.90 BB holders pay entitles them to 24 hours parking.
(More info on the website).
Free Parking Concessions – these include:
Oncology patients receiving regular treatment (this includes blood tests, MRIs etc in relation to oncology treatment)
Collection of prescriptions and hearing aid batteries
Parents attending to support a childs needs in the special care baby unit
Clergy visiting parishioners
Adults accompanying children for emergency treatment ( I asked for clarification of upper age limit for children, they need to check)
Those entitled to free parking concessions as above will be advised to ASK ABOUT IT WHEN THEY REACH THE DEPT THEY’RE VISITING & will be given a voucher to use at the payment machine on exit.
PATIENTS USING LINCOLN ONCOLOGY DEPT will be asked to enter their registration no. onto the system
Daily rate of £5 – now available through payment kiosks (I’m told it’s easily found!) & lasts until midnight the same day.
Prepayment Vouchers – I asked if the validity for these could be increased from 6 to 12 months. This was agreed. The change should be effective from w/c 8/7/19 and will be retrospectively applied to those already issued. (The
website might take longer to update).
At Grantham these are currently only available from Facilities, the restaurant or the switchboard – none of which is very convenient. I have asked previously if they could be made available through The Pantry. Talks are ongoing with the owners.
To help ensure people are aware of how these systems work & how to access them, they have agreed to add clear details on car parking to appointment letters. They will also put up more/better signage around the hospitals.
It was agreed the website would be updated to include FULL details on all aspects of car parking. NHS Choice will also be updated as necessary.
Once again, I brought up the question of changing the first charging band from 0-1 hrs to 0-2 hrs. Most appointments/visits go over one hour & there are still cases where people go into the next band because of queue or payment machine problems. This isn’t entirely in their remit – it’s not just a Facilities decision. But they have agreed to look at how a financial model would work on this basis & also, perhaps, having 30 mins free parking. I will keep chasing this.
CAR PARK & KIOSK MAINTENANCE
I explained that alongside PCNs the condition of the car parks, at all sites, was the issue I was contacted about most frequently.
A survey of all the sites is to be undertaken as they all require extensive works. The income from the tickets will not cover this, so further funding will be required. PB & IH seemed confident this could be secured. In the meantime emergency remedial work that’s been identified as needed, will be undertaken in the next 4 weeks.
They will look at providing additional bicycle parking at Pilgrim as this has been mentioned as a particular problem there.
The kiosks are now being serviced/maintained on a weekly basis by PE. They are cleaned “intermittently.” They are not regularly sanitised as the screens inside the hospital are as the risks are thought to be no different from any other surface you might touch when you’re out & about.
Updated site maps, with payment kiosk locations should be available within the next couple of months. This has been delayed while waiting for additional kiosks to be sited. The signage re ParkingEye as you turn into the main entrance of Grantham Hospital (from Manthorpe Road) will be improved.
FULL CAR PARKS
There has been confusion over what is and isn’t allowed when the car parks are full. Some people have received PCNs even when they’ve been told it is ok to park on the grass as long as they’re not causing an obstruction.
Officially parking is only allowed in the designated spaces & ‘Don’t park on the Grass’ signs are appearing. Facilities do, however, monitor the car parks and on days when they are deemed to be full they can instruct attendants not to issue manual tickets. I would suggest checking on the day if you can’t find anywhere else to park!
CAR DRIVER VOLUNTEERS
If the group you do volunteer driving for is registered through Lincs CC Volunteer Car Drivers then your car reg can be put on the Hospital database when you visit, so you secure free parking and you don’t have to take a voucher to the payment machine each time.
AND FINALLY …..
I asked if they would be willing to set up a questionnaire to get feedback from the public. They are reluctant to do this for car parks alone (I wonder why?) but they will consider including it as part of a county wide transport for the future project they’re undertaking in conjunction with Lincs CC & various bus companies. I did mention in passing that would need to take into account additional public/private transport needs the reductions in hospital services would bring.
I haven’t mentioned any PCN issues individually here as I deal with them as and when they arise – but they are still happening. I asked PB to thank Wayne McIntosh for all the help he’s given me in this regard.
We agreed to set a further meeting (if required) in about 2 months. In the meantime, I will keep in close contact with
them on all car parking issues.
I’d like to thank Frank for accompanying me to these meetings, supporting me & putting up with me when ULHT ParkingEye threatens to take over my life!!