"Care and Parking"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

(as the patient),

I recently chipped a bone in my ankle and visited the ED at East Surrey.

My nurse practitioner, Lesley, was exemplary in every way even helping me to my car after treatment. We happened to talk about parking and she told me that the nurses have to pay to park at the hospital.

I find that quite disgusting when we as a country do not pay our medical staff enough anyway. The nurses have to pay the same amount as more highly paid staff such as consultants. It just doesn't seem right at all.

I'd like to see something done about it.

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear PiggiB,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent attendance at ED at East Surrey Hospital. I’m very pleased that you felt you had such a good experience and your comment has been passed to the department.

Picking up your comments about car parking charges there are two points I’d like to address. Firstly the question of staff paying to park and secondly whether different staff should pay different charges.

When we introduced staff car parking charges in December 2011 East Surrey Hospital was one of the last acute hospitals in England to charge staff. The principal reason we charge staff is as a way of recovering the cost of providing parking. If we didn’t charge staff in this way, money that is currently used to support other services would have to be spent on car parking.

Since we introduced charges the Trust has spent just over £1m on staff car parking facilities and services. Most of this money - £720,000 – has been spent improving and increasing the number of car parking spaces. For example we have added another 135 spaces in this time as well as implementing a range of other items such as better lighting and new surfaces. The income received from staff in this time was £260,000 so the Trust still spent over £700,000 in addition to the staff charges.

With regard to your second point; some hospitals do charge differential rates for different staff but we considered this point at great length and decided it would be unfair to do this as it would be the only example of a charged item that varied depending on salary. For example we don’t charge different prices for food in the hospital restaurant depending on income. There are clearly different views about this but we believe everyone should pay the same for the same service.

Hopefully this provides some indication as to why we charge staff to park but if you would like to discuss it further please contact me by e-mailing ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk or telephoning 01737 23199.



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