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The British Parking Association (BPA) has a clearly defined role to raise standards across the parking profession and nowhere is this more apparent than in the healthcare environment. Balancing the needs of hospital patients and visitors, staff and healthcare professionals to ensure that access to health care is fair, and cost‑effective, requires courage and determination. Parking managers at healthcare sites across the UK face these challenges every day. Working alone they seek to resolve their problems locally, often challenged by local media and indeed, their own colleagues.
In support of this work, the BPA has initiated a Healthcare Parking Special Interest Group, bringing together people in NHS facilities with parking operators and service providers to share knowledge and experience with the BPA’s role to educate and inform people about the best practice that is already out there
The most recent meeting took place on November 26th at St James’ Hospital, Leeds. Healthcare members have been keen to undertake a benchmarking survey for some time to better understand current policy with regard to how parking is managed, implemented, charged for and how this varies between locations and facilities across the entire parking profession. The content of the survey and questions to be asked were discussed and agreed.
The group are seeking to follow in the footsteps of the higher and further education sector. Earlier this year, 52 higher and further education establishments, representing around 34 per cent of all those in the UK took part in an online benchmarking survey. The data was analysed and a report produced providing an overview of the data collected, together with some of the key findings grouped into specific areas. The report is the first of its kind, examining the size, shape and nature of parking across the higher and further education sector.
THE HEALTHCARE SITUATION
It is expected that the first survey in the Healthcare sector will take place in early 2014. The survey will be carried out annually in order to provide a true benchmarking exercise for all participants.
Working together through the BPA Health Care Parking Special Interest Group we can collectively share knowledge and best practice, as well as campaign for better recognition of the services provided and the need for them to be properly funded. The health of the nation depends upon the NHS. The NHS depends upon the parking profession to help ensure that access to its facilities is fair and appropriate, properly managed and adequately funded.
CHARTER FOR HEALTHCARE PARKING
In 2010, the BPA first published its Charter for Healthcare Parking, aiming to strike the right balance between being fair to patients and others, including staff, and making sure that facilities are managed effectively for the good of everyone. Now nearly three years on, the BPA has revisited the Charter and with the help of those working in both the parking and healthcare sectors, has republished its guidance.
Following this success, the BPA has developed a Charter for Higher and Further Education Facilities. This brand new initiative was launched at Parkex 2013, the biggest event for those working in parking and traffic management. Already, a number of Trusts that are also teaching hospitals have added their names to the list including George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. A full list can be found at www.britishparking.co.uk/Charter-for-Higher-Education-Parking. One of our main aims is to encourage members to raise standards so that they provide a better, fairer service to their clients and to all car park users. Our members recognise the value of maintaining high standards, and membership of the BPA enables them to do this.
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