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New hospital parking concessions to affect frequent attendees and blue badge holders from 27 November, 2017

Over recent months Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has been reviewing public car parking concessions across all three of our hospital sites.

The trust is now in a position to implement some changes that include the introduction of discounted weekly and monthly tickets and the discontinuation of automatic parking concessions for blue badge holders.

The three hospitals at Wexham Park, Heatherwood and Frimley Park came together under one trust in October 2014. Since then, tariffs for staff and for the public have been standardised across the three sites.

The latest review, which will come into effect on 27 November 2017, will see no further increase in the tariff. But a standard simplified set of concessions for all public users will be introduced.

One significant concession is the introduction of 7-day and 30-day tickets costing £15 and £50 respectively across all of our sites. We believe this will make a considerable saving for people who need to attend for frequent treatment or those visiting loved ones who are experiencing a lengthy stay. Both tickets will be transferable across our hospital sites.

Another important aspect of the review is the discontinuation of automatic free parking for blue badge holders. This was a very difficult decision for the trust’s board of directors, but it was taken on the principle that charges should be based on affordability for all patients, including blue badge holders. A number of other hospital trusts have also taken this decision.

Any patients, including blue badge holders, who are entitled to free parking through low income or benefits will still be able to reclaim the cost of parking, and the process for doing this will be made clear. Providing the best possible access for blue badge drivers will be our priority.

Over the past three years the trust has spent millions of pounds improving parking facilities, including access for disabled drivers. As we only receive funding for the clinical services we provide, it is important that the running costs of our car parks do not encroach upon patient services.

The trust has been discussing the plans with a number of patient groups, including disabled patient user groups and local HealthWatch. We know the changes will not be welcomed by all, but we do feel that on balance the new system will be fairer and the introduction of the discounted ticket for frequent attendees will be a helpful concession.