Hospital staff told to park off site

ACTION is to be taken to ease parking problems at a Suffolk hospital by inviting staff to park at a nearby rugby club instead.

Laurence Cawley

ACTION is to be taken to ease parking problems at a Suffolk hospital by inviting staff to park at a nearby rugby club instead.

Overcrowding has been a continual issue for years at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and health managers at the trust have now decide to see what more can be done.

The car park is run and maintained by the private firm Vinci Park UK which pays the Hardwick Lane hospital �500,000 each year from its revenue.

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As part of a bid to ease overcrowding at the hospital, an email has been sent out to all employers encouraging them to consider using public transport or to park off-site.

Jan Bloomfield, the hospital's executive director of workforce and communications, said: “Everyone who uses the hospital site will be acutely aware of the ongoing issues we face around car parking.

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“These issues have got progressively more serious and we must take action to ensure that staff and patients who have no alternative can continue to access the hospital by car.

“During the next three months we will be consulting unions, staff and our governors to find a solution which offers fair, equitable parking to those who need it.

“It is important that we get this right first time, so we are actively encouraging feedback from our staff and have already received some extremely positive suggestions which will be fed into the process.

“To relieve pressure in the interim, Bury Rugby Club has kindly given us permission to use their site for staff parking.

“It is important to stress that parking at the rugby club is not mandatory - it is merely another option available to staff whose personal circumstances and working hours allow them to park off site.

“We recognise that searching for a space can be extremely stressful for both patients arriving for appointments and staff who are due to begin their shifts.

“We already encourage people to use alternative methods of transport or car share wherever possible, and would urge everyone using the hospital to help us to help them by thinking about their travel arrangements before they leave home.”

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