Healthcare Estates 2019 is just a few short weeks away, with preparations really ramping up now for the biggest event yet.
Parking is a dynamic sector and it’s changing more rapidly than at any other period during our fifty year existence. We have always placed the consumer at the heart of our thinking and will continue to provide strong leadership in the sector, working closely with government and all key stakeholders to achieve excellence in parking for all.
We are a not for profit organisation that represents, promotes and influences the parking and traffic management profession throughout the UK and Europe. We work with our members and partners to support growth for our communities, improve compliance by those who manage and use parking facilities, and encourage fairness to achieve our vision of excellence in parking for all.
This is an exciting time for the parking sector; in two years we are predicted to have over one million electric vehicles on our roads and the technology we use to manage car parks is changing rapidly. As motorists become familiar with the many different ways of paying for parking it’s important to be aware of consumer preferences and use the full range of technology that’s available. Smarter parking technology is already delivering benefits to our towns and cities worldwide, for businesses, road users and local municipalities. As a not-for-profit association we work closely with members and key stakeholders to inform and encourage this innovation, so we become a truly mobile society where everyone benefits.
We understand managing parking can be challenging, particularly at hospitals, treatment centres and surgeries where demand for parking spaces is high, and there are many ways to approach this. We encourage all our members to think innovatively when it comes to travel planning and finding ways to encourage staff, visitors and patients to choose other modes of transport to get to and from their hospitals, treatment centres and surgeries.
We also recognise that there can be a range of complex political issues to contend with when deciding who should take priority when allocating the limited parking spaces available and the concessions you offer. Hospitals, treatment centres and surgeries often occupy key sites and the travel and parking behaviour of patients, staff and visitors can seriously impact on local residents. All this needs careful management.
Our contribution to the government’s parking guidelines for NHS Trusts includes case studies of good practice that other NHS Trusts are encouraged to emulate. The guidance has been produced to outline what measures NHS organisations should have in place and what measures can be implemented that represent good practice in car-parking strategies, and also improve the overall patient and visitor experience.
Knowledge on how hospital car parks are managed and the changing trends are crucial to plan for the future which is why we launched a benchmarking survey this year which follows the success of our Higher and Further Education parking facilities survey. We encourage all health sector facilities, not just our members, to take part in this survey.
Last month NHS Digital published its annual car parking survey results for England, which is part of the Estates Return Information Collection. This reveals the average car parking charge per hour increased by 2p to £1.34 for patients and visitors, and reduced 1p to 18p for staff. Five percent remained the percentage of spaces allocated to disabled parking overall. One of the most significant changes was an eight percent increase in the number of car parks that accepted debit and credit cards from 54 percent to 62 percent. With currently well over half of hospital car parks in England being manged in-house, a quarter outsourced and the remaining 20% not charging at all, there is clearly much to learn from each-others’ experiences.
Our vibrant and growing Healthcare Interest Group helps all those involved in supplying, managing or maintaining health sector car parks. It meets three times a year to advance knowledge, raise standards and professionalism for the benefit of all. Members share and discuss challenges they face and find it an invaluable way to learn from each other. The day-long programme includes presentations, discussions and networking over breaks and a free lunch. Recent topics include concessions, maintenance, managing demand, listening to visitors, patients and staff, blue badge expansion, and enforcement. Also from next year, members from both the Healthcare Interest Group and the Higher Education Interest Group have decided to meet once a year to learn from each other as members from both groups manage large campus-like parking environments. Contact membership development manager, Yasmin Jefferies firstname.lastname@example.org if you too would also like to join our Healthcare Interest Group.
We are delighted to support the 2018 Health Business Awards which recognise and celebrate the significant contributions made each year by organisations and individuals that work inside and alongside the NHS.
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