Lichfield hospital parking charges to be ‘simplified’ after review

Bosses at a Lichfield hospital say car parking charges will be made “simpler” after complaints from patients.

The Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

The Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

The controversial automatic number plate recognition system has been introduced across sites run by Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, including the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital.

But a new review into the parking charge system has forced the Trust to make changes.

Geoff Neild, Head of Facilities said: “We are sorry for any distress, confusion and upset that patients and their relatives and carers have experienced since the new system was introduced in late 2013,” said head of facilities Geoff Neild.

“In recent months an independently-led review panel – which included patients, members of the public, staff and members of our complaints team who fielded calls and letters about the system – has taken a fresh, detailed look at the whole parking and payment process and we are now acting on what they found.

“The most common complaint received is that the machines do not tell you how much you owe after you input your car registration number.

“The complexity of our hospital car parks, which means we have cameras at multiple entrances and exits, made the cost of a bespoke system – as operated in supermarket sites with a single entrance and exit – prohibitive.

“So the solution that the independent review panel recommended was to drastically simplify the payment tariff system.”

New parking charges

As a result of the review the current seven price bands will be cut to just three:

  • Up to 20 minutes – free
  • Up to two hours – £2
  • Two to six hours – £3
  • Six to 24 hours – £6

Mr Neild added: “For the vast majority of outpatients and visitors the new prices mean that the cost of parking will be unchanged or cheaper.

“The only people who would pay more are the very small minority of patients who stay for between 20-30 minutes and for between six and seven hours.

“The review panel believed that it was much easier for visitors to know if they had been parked on site for less than two hours, up to six hours or more than six hours.”

Car park changes

The Trust is also making other changes to its car parks, including:

  • New signs to “strongly recommend” that visitors pay at the end of their hospital visit.
  • The ‘computer-style’ keyboards to be replaced by vertical keyboards after feedback from visitors.
  • Simplified signage.
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Caroline

    8th August, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve just had a letter threatening to take me to court for a ticket that was issued in December which was sent to me despite me having paid for the ticket that evening after visiting my terminally ill grandmother who died shortly after. The notice said I could pay anytime up to midnight of the day I parked which is what I did I even have the email confirmation but still parkingeye want to take me to court.