FROM today (Thursday), some patients attending Goole and District Hospital will be eligible for free car parking - but prices will increase for others.
Concessions will apply to patients suffering from cancer or long-term conditions, who have to attend hospital more than eight times in a 30-day period. They will also be available to parents or guardians spending time overnight with a sick child.
The new car parking policy was agreed following consultation with the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s council of governors, staff and external stakeholders.
Director of facilities and information Nigel Myhill said: “The range of measures we are proposing in the new policy are aimed at ensuring the Trust contributes towards targets to reduce carbon emissions, while ensuring those who need access to our hospitals get it.
“It is the first review of car parking for two years and aims to provide a stable policy for the next three years. We will also continue to allow free parking for those dropping off or picking up patients, if they do not need to park for a long period. For those needing to use the parking facilities either for a week, or a month, a reduced price ticket can be purchased.”
As reported in the Courier previously, the changes are part of a wider review that will also see the cost of parking at Goole Hospital for between 20 minutes and two hours rise from £1.50 to £1.70 from today.
Goole town councillor Josie Head, who attends regular meetings of a forum set up to enable local residents to put their views to the Trust, has expressed her disappointment at the price increase.
She said: “The whole subject of car parking at Goole Hospital is dreadful and I think they have a much fairer pricing system in place at Scunthorpe. I don’t think they should be increasing the charges at a time when people are taking pay cuts and the cost of living is so expensive.”
When asked whether she welcomed the introduction of free parking for patients with specific conditions who need to attend the hospital regularly, Coun Head queried how patients would know about the concessions.
She added: “I’d also like to know whether they only apply if a patient is attending their own appointment or whether they would also apply if they have to take a family member to hospital. I have lots of questions that I intend to ask at the next forum meeting.”
The Trust’s PR and Communications Manager Simon Rigg explained: “It will be down to the clinicians. All staff at the hospital will be briefed about the concessions so they can supply their patients with passes.
“The passes will be allocated to a named individual, so can be used by that person whether they’re attending their own appointment or taking a relative to hospital.”
The Trust has been awarded PARK MARK, a safer parking award, for the second consecutive year in recognition of the fact there were no thefts of vehicles and just one theft from a vehicle across all of its sites including Goole.