An 'unhealthy row' over parking

Patient Brian Leahy says it is ridiculous seeing the NHS at war with itself

Patient Brian Leahy says it is ridiculous seeing the NHS at war with itself

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A HEALTH centre patient says it is “disgraceful” that two NHS bodies are “fighting each other” over a car park.

Marcham Road Health Centre in Abingdon has put up barriers to stop anyone but its patients using its 43-space car park.

The health centre shares a site with the Abingdon Community Hospital – which has a 114-space car park – and says hospital patients and staff are taking up health centre spaces which should be exclusively for its patients.

It has now put up an £8,000 barrier which means anyone can get in, but only health centre patients given a token by their doctor can get out again.

Anyone using the car park illegitimately will be fined £25.

Marcham Road patient Brian Leahy, who lives in Steventon, said: “Increasingly, it has been impossible to park there.”

But, he said: “It is disgraceful that the NHS should find themselves in the situation where two sides are fighting each other.

“The hospital is growing in size, but the nurses and doctors take up a large number of spaces, and cars are parking on grass verges. Cars park absolutely anywhere. It is a complete mess.

“I deeply love the NHS and can remember when it was brought in, but things like this expose the stupidity that crops up.

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“We heard that during the floods they were unable to deliver supplies to both, but they can spend thousands installing this silly barrier.”

The health centre, which has just over 43 parking bays, said it was protecting spaces provided specifically for practice patients. The hospital has 114 parking spaces.

Dr Michael Robertson from the health centre said: “The health centre has 43 spaces and the hospital have many more, just not enough. Once all the staff have arrived, it is pretty much full. I think they need to find some off-site staff parking.

“One space occupied for eight hours during the working day prevents at least 20 patients from using that space to park while they visit our surgery.

“We could see no other way of protecting our patients’ interests.”

The health centre said it will ensure the car park is clearly signposted indicating it is solely for the use of those with legitimate business at the health centre.

Dr Robertson said that in extreme cases, people visiting the hospital in emergencies would be allowed to use the health centre car park.

He said: “If someone rushes in with their child with a broken leg, we won’t be charging them.”

Oxford Health, the trust which runs Abingdon Community Hospital, did not comment.

Comments (9)

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11:34pm Wed 5 Mar 14

caz1111 says...

Only a small percentage Oxford Hospital staff are allowed to park on site because the council won't allow car parks to be built so maybe there should be restrictions at Abingdon to allow patients to get spaces. It's sad that Marcham Rd HC have had to take this action but they can't have all their spaces being used by hospital patients.
Only a small percentage Oxford Hospital staff are allowed to park on site because the council won't allow car parks to be built so maybe there should be restrictions at Abingdon to allow patients to get spaces. It's sad that Marcham Rd HC have had to take this action but they can't have all their spaces being used by hospital patients. caz1111
  • Score: 4

9:26am Thu 6 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

caz1111 wrote:
Only a small percentage Oxford Hospital staff are allowed to park on site because the council won't allow car parks to be built so maybe there should be restrictions at Abingdon to allow patients to get spaces. It's sad that Marcham Rd HC have had to take this action but they can't have all their spaces being used by hospital patients.
The Oxford parking issue is said to be causing massive problems with staff recruitment and retention.

In particular with the way that locums/temps, on at least double NHS staff rates, claim for parking in the patient car parks through their shell companies. Whilst regular staff queue for buses...
[quote][p][bold]caz1111[/bold] wrote: Only a small percentage Oxford Hospital staff are allowed to park on site because the council won't allow car parks to be built so maybe there should be restrictions at Abingdon to allow patients to get spaces. It's sad that Marcham Rd HC have had to take this action but they can't have all their spaces being used by hospital patients.[/p][/quote]The Oxford parking issue is said to be causing massive problems with staff recruitment and retention. In particular with the way that locums/temps, on at least double NHS staff rates, claim for parking in the patient car parks through their shell companies. Whilst regular staff queue for buses... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

10:22am Thu 6 Mar 14

DKR1987 says...

yet another clear reason why we should abolish the NHS.
yet another clear reason why we should abolish the NHS. DKR1987
  • Score: -10

12:59pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Kennys hat says...

The budget for the health centre must be too hogh if they can afford £8k for a barrier
The budget for the health centre must be too hogh if they can afford £8k for a barrier Kennys hat
  • Score: 1

1:19pm Thu 6 Mar 14

angel.cake says...

Walk to your appointment, ask your doctor for a car park token, then save them up and park there whenever you like! Massive loophole in this short-sighted decision.
Walk to your appointment, ask your doctor for a car park token, then save them up and park there whenever you like! Massive loophole in this short-sighted decision. angel.cake
  • Score: -5

2:14pm Thu 6 Mar 14

abingdon resident says...

I raised the point that the G P Surgeries with the largest patient lists in Oxfordshire are in Abingdon. However, the housing inspector who passed planning for 170 houses along the Drayton Road said that Abingdon needs more houses. The Vale said that 600 more houses are planned to be built in Abingdon so there will be an increase on people using G P surgeries and Health Services in the area.
I raised the point that the G P Surgeries with the largest patient lists in Oxfordshire are in Abingdon. However, the housing inspector who passed planning for 170 houses along the Drayton Road said that Abingdon needs more houses. The Vale said that 600 more houses are planned to be built in Abingdon so there will be an increase on people using G P surgeries and Health Services in the area. abingdon resident
  • Score: 7

3:20pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Wolf Pack says...

The Answer is simple build a new hospital on the Old Abingdon Airfield then there will be no Traffic problem its a large area going to waste.
The Answer is simple build a new hospital on the Old Abingdon Airfield then there will be no Traffic problem its a large area going to waste. Wolf Pack
  • Score: 3

9:14pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Feelingsmatter says...

As nurse who works at Abingdon hospital, the worse thing about going to work on a late shift is the lack of parking. Idiots park in front of the access to our front door meaning ambulances cannot gain access. This means that in a life-threatening situation, paramedics have to park well away and run to the ward. We have young people here, some in their 30s, who are receiving rehabilitation following a stroke. We did have an arrangement with the pub opposite that on an early staff could use some allotted spaces, but that arrangement has been stopped. I used to park at Fairacres, but now notices have gone up threatening us with clamping and removal of our cars. Tesco has a limit as to how long we can park. No buses run the route I need, and frankly after an 8 hour shift on an understaffed ward with at least an hour's unpaid overtime, I don't have the time or the energy to walk the half-hour home. That would mean I get home at 23.00, then I'm back at 07.00 the next morning.
Oxford Health should have thought before they centralised all Abingdon Community Nurses, Emergency Assessment Unit, Minor Injuries, Urgent Care and Hospital @ Home on this one site. There is plenty of space for many more parking places to be built on site, but as we've been waiting two years for a small area outside our ward to be repaired so we don't risk tipping patients out of their chairs, I doubt it will happen.
As nurse who works at Abingdon hospital, the worse thing about going to work on a late shift is the lack of parking. Idiots park in front of the access to our front door meaning ambulances cannot gain access. This means that in a life-threatening situation, paramedics have to park well away and run to the ward. We have young people here, some in their 30s, who are receiving rehabilitation following a stroke. We did have an arrangement with the pub opposite that on an early staff could use some allotted spaces, but that arrangement has been stopped. I used to park at Fairacres, but now notices have gone up threatening us with clamping and removal of our cars. Tesco has a limit as to how long we can park. No buses run the route I need, and frankly after an 8 hour shift on an understaffed ward with at least an hour's unpaid overtime, I don't have the time or the energy to walk the half-hour home. That would mean I get home at 23.00, then I'm back at 07.00 the next morning. Oxford Health should have thought before they centralised all Abingdon Community Nurses, Emergency Assessment Unit, Minor Injuries, Urgent Care and Hospital @ Home on this one site. There is plenty of space for many more parking places to be built on site, but as we've been waiting two years for a small area outside our ward to be repaired so we don't risk tipping patients out of their chairs, I doubt it will happen. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 3

9:57am Fri 7 Mar 14

BML says...

I think that the notice I saw in the Health Centre car park stating that action will be taken against people who park there without permission and for the surgery to add to add to that by saying that anyone using the car park illegitimately will be fined £25 is a most unhappy reflection on the problem solving capability of the staff responsible those actions. It may be true that the parking issue is said to be causing massive problems with staff recruitment and retention but surely the answer is for the bureaucrats to sort the problem out.
If it is true that locums/temps, on at least double NHS staff rates, claim for parking in the patient car parks through their shell companies it is a disgusting reflection on the morality of these people as well as being a clear breach of criminal law. I doubt that the bureaucrats will even consider looking into that.
Oxford Health should have thought before they centralised all Abingdon Community Nurses, Emergency Assessment Unit, Minor Injuries, Urgent Care and Hospital @ Home on this one site. Feelingsmatter quite correctly wrote, “Of course there is plenty of space for many more parking places to be built on site, but as we've been waiting two years for a small area outside our ward to be repaired so we don't risk tipping patients out of their chairs, I doubt it will happen.” Yet again, another sorry reflection on the bureaucrats.
Like most people of my age I have a deep and abiding love for the NHS. One rarely hears anything other than praise for nurses, doctors and other front line staff. But, when we see nonsense where it is clear that nothing is being done to sole the parking problem and when we are told that because a new Pharmacy has opened one and a half kilometres from us we must obtain our medicines from them one wonders if a general clear out of these bureaucrats should take place.
I think that the notice I saw in the Health Centre car park stating that action will be taken against people who park there without permission and for the surgery to add to add to that by saying that anyone using the car park illegitimately will be fined £25 is a most unhappy reflection on the problem solving capability of the staff responsible those actions. It may be true that the parking issue is said to be causing massive problems with staff recruitment and retention but surely the answer is for the bureaucrats to sort the problem out. If it is true that locums/temps, on at least double NHS staff rates, claim for parking in the patient car parks through their shell companies it is a disgusting reflection on the morality of these people as well as being a clear breach of criminal law. I doubt that the bureaucrats will even consider looking into that. Oxford Health should have thought before they centralised all Abingdon Community Nurses, Emergency Assessment Unit, Minor Injuries, Urgent Care and Hospital @ Home on this one site. Feelingsmatter quite correctly wrote, “Of course there is plenty of space for many more parking places to be built on site, but as we've been waiting two years for a small area outside our ward to be repaired so we don't risk tipping patients out of their chairs, I doubt it will happen.” Yet again, another sorry reflection on the bureaucrats. Like most people of my age I have a deep and abiding love for the NHS. One rarely hears anything other than praise for nurses, doctors and other front line staff. But, when we see nonsense where it is clear that nothing is being done to sole the parking problem and when we are told that because a new Pharmacy has opened one and a half kilometres from us we must obtain our medicines from them one wonders if a general clear out of these bureaucrats should take place. BML
  • Score: 3

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