Charges increasing for security

CAR parking charges at Ipswich Hospital are to be raised to provide funding for extra security.Hospital bosses reluctantly agreed to put up prices as it is the only way money can be raised to give extra protection for staff, patients and visitors to the Heath Road site.

By Jessica Nicholls

CAR parking charges at Ipswich Hospital are to be raised to provide funding for extra security.

Hospital bosses reluctantly agreed to put up prices as it is the only way money can be raised to give extra protection for staff, patients and visitors to the Heath Road site.

A new security scheme is to be launched at the hospital, which will include a 24-hour security presence seven days a week at the site.

But as the funding for the new security cannot come out of money for patient care the only way to fund it can come from extra car parking charges.

Steven Harrup, director of estates and facilities told the Trust board that more measures had to be taken to protect staff.

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He said: "We are seeing an increase in violence and abuse and this could be down to more people reporting it.

"We have got to expand one member of security staff into 24/7 security as the incidents don't always happen in working hours."

Although there were concerns that putting up the charges might put visitors off from visiting relatives for long periods of time board members agreed that there was no other solution.

Jennifer Jones, director of human resources said: "We must not lose sight of what this money is to be used for.

"This would provide staff, patients and visitors with a safer environment.

"If anyone has ever been involved where you have a difficult situation to deal with, they are not pleasant.

"It is unfortunate that we do not have a large pot of money for what we want to do."

A bid for funding has also been put in to the Strategic Health Authority.

More CCTV, extra staff training, alarm systems and new access systems like in paediatric and maternity wards are also being considered.

As reported in the Evening Star, a permanent police presence on site is also being considered although funding for that is being discussed with Suffolk Constabulary.

The new car park charges are to be implemented from December 1.

NEW CHARGES:

One to two hours – £2, three hours – £3, four hours – £5, five hours – £8, six hours – £8, more than six hours £10.

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