GroupNexus

GroupNexus are committed to providing effective hospital car park management while remaining sensitive to patients and visitor’s needs.

GroupNexus (formerly CP Plus & Ranger Services) provides complete hospital car park management solutions. With over 25 years’ experience, we have a deep knowledge of the healthcare industry, with an excellent track record in delivering high quality parking services to hospitals across the UK.

We provide parking expertise with the sensitive approach that is needed at hospital parking locations, working with over 20 NHS Trusts at over 40 hospital sites.

Parking enforcement is needed to help manage the car parks and prevent abuse but not at the distress of patients or relatives. Therefore, we train our staff to encompass a range of skills suitable for working at our NHS hospital car parks, as well as providing security management and tailor-made CCTV and control centre systems. With the implementation of more advanced technology at our NHS sites, we can expect to see further enhanced security and safety for patients and visitors.

We understand the importance of keeping vital roadways clear, so that emergency vehicles have immediate access when on call, and the need to be aware that users of the car parks may have an emergency or be in a distressed state. Our unrivalled experience brings sector wide knowledge that allows us to advise on concessions, staff permit parking, green transport schemes and more.

Our end-to-end services:

GroupNexus offers an end-to-end service, from technology that allows you to track, monitor and gather data on car park usage, to setting the standard for the provision of management services.

GroupNexus handles installation of ANPR linked car park management systems, barriers, parking permit applications, paid for parking services including machine, cashless and online, concessions and loyalty rewards, vehicle alerting, user intelligence and on the ground facilities management, parking assistants, enforcement, security and maintenance.

NexusInsights:

NexusInsights has a complete range of insight services that can benefit your Trust. We get under the skin of each of our client’s sites enabling us to build a bespoke package that provides real and valuable insights into how each facility is being used.

The aim of our parking services is to help hospital car parks function in a more logical manner, with patient and visitor needs taken into consideration, enabling the smooth running of vital services.

1 - The Queen’s Speech before Christmas announced that hospital car parking charges will be removed for those in greatest need. What are the arguments for keeping charges for other patients/visitors?

We welcome these new regulations and have always had systems in place to ensure that certain patients and visitors did not have to pay. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as free parking. The maintenance of a car park, car park equipment, rates, power and management all cost money. If there were no charges, these costs would have to be taken from the healthcare budget. Many hospitals are located close to town centres and/or transport hubs – without charges, the car parks would be abused. And when it comes to free parking, it’s worth noting that people who use public transport or taxis don’t get their fares paid.
 
2 - Where people have failed to pay their parking charge notice, how does the relationship between the hospital and parking operator ensure debts are paid and issues resolved as quickly, and with as little disruption to the hospital, as possible?

It’s important that, in consultation with the operator, that the Trust sets out and publishes a clear parking policy for staff, patients and visitors. An appeals decision tree should also be agreed so that appeals are dealt with consistently and fairly.
 
3 - The Conservative victory in December means that the country is now likely to face another five years of Tory-rule. How has the parking landscape in hospitals changed since 2010?

The Parking (Code of Practice) Act came onto the statute books in March 2019. It’s an enabling Act that

  • Provides for the creation of a single Code of Practice regulating private parking firms
  • Provides for the creation of a single independent appeals service for challenging parking charges
     

Whist the industry has had the British Parking Association’s Code of Practice for many years, bringing this into legislation – it will be compiled by the British Standards Institute – will change the landscape for parking operators. A single appeals service will also take away any confusion and anomalies that sometimes occur under the current two appeals services (the other is run by the International Parking Community).

The recent Government announcement that there is to be free parking for disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of sick children staying overnight and staff working night shifts, is due to start coming into effect in April. This will also change the landscape for parking in hospitals considerably and brings with it challenges as to how to make this work efficiently, without compromising the effectiveness and efficiency of parking and enforcement systems that are already in place.
 
4 - Much of the parking charge argument in hospitals comes down to supply versus demand. Are there pragmatic ways of ensuring hospital car parks are used solely by hospital workers and users? And, if so, why does the problem remain?

The problem of abuse by motorists that have no business at a hospital has largely been solved by the introduction of parking systems, whether this is barriers or enforcement via ANPR.

The problem is lack of spaces. As hospitals have grown, along with the services they offer, the parking provision has not been able to keep up with demand.

Large Trusts can employ in excess of 5,000 staff with half to two-thirds on duty during a weekday. This, along with the demand from patients creates a situation where over 4,000 spaces are required; most hospitals simply do not have the spaces or the land available to build them. Multi-storey car parks are expensive to build, manage and maintain; additionally, many local authorities want to discourage car usage and will not grant planning.

We work with our clients to bring innovation to this problem, from intuitive, flexible car sharing apps to off-site parking, with car share or shuttles.

5 - Staff parking continues to be a difficult task, especially for NHS organisations. Aside from the fair/unfair argument, how can the issue best be solved?

As above, it’s not sustainable, nor in many cases environmentally acceptable to keep building spaces sufficient to satisfy the demand for staff parking. The real solution is to encourage staff to use other forms of transport, car sharing and park and ride. Clearly, this is not popular and may present difficulties for Trusts if they are in competition with other nearby Trusts when trying to recruit. Encouraging staff to use other ways of commuting would need to be compelling, for example, financial incentives, more flexible working practices and better public transport.

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.

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