Nurse's concern over Ipswich Hospital parking permit refusal
- Credit: Archant
A nurse at Ipswich Hospital has expressed disappointment after a parking permit application was denied because they live within three miles of the hospital.
Ipswich Hospital is set to introduce a new parking system on site which is said to make it easier for both staff and visitors.
Before the pandemic, staff had to pay to park on site, but since the coronavirus outbreak parking has been free for all members of staff. However, the hospital is going back to a permit scheme on May 10.
Any member of staff can apply for a parking permit but it is up to the hospital to approve the applications.
Members of staff that live within a three mile radius of the hospital might not receive a permit - although there are some circumstances where they are issued.
A nurse, who asked not to be named, said: "There are a lot of staff that live on the boundaries of the three mile radius and there are a lot of staff being denied a permit.
"It is annoying for a lot of staff that you are not be able to park at your place of work.
"We are not complaining that we have to pay because we had to pay before the pandemic and I have no problems with that, it is just the fact that now we are being denied parking at the hospital."
Members of staff who do not have a permit will now have to find alternative ways of getting to and from work, or somewhere else to park. However if a member of staff is working a late shift they can apply for an out of hours permit which will allow them to park on site.
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Ipswich Hospital said it is doing all it can to help members of staff with permits, but it does not have the physical capacity to issue all members of staff a permit.
Fiona Sparrow, Associate Director of Facilities at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation which runs Ipswich Hospital, said: “We strongly encourage any colleague who feels they have unfairly been denied a parking permit to get in contact with our travel team. They are here to help and we are very happy to listen to appeals.
“Our new system is much more inclusive and fair for colleagues because distance from their home to the hospital site is just one factor taken into account – it also looks at on-call work, shift work, childcare, other caring commitments and access to public transport, for example.
"There has been a permit system in place at the hospital for a number of years which has meant those who live close (within three miles) were unable to park in our car parks regardless of these other factors.
"We don’t have the physical space to guarantee a car parking space for every member of staff, and we are constrained by regulations from the authorities about what we can offer.
“Safety is paramount and no member of staff will need to walk home alone at night or early in the morning.
"We have an out of hours permit which covers from 3.30pm to 9am for just this reason.”
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said it will offer support to members of staff who are now finding new means of getting to work.