The changes will see both a reduction and improvement in the parking charges system in place at Queen’s hospital, Burton-upon-Trent, Sir Robert Peel hospital, Tamworth and Samuel Johnson hospital, Lichfield.
Chief Executive Helen Ashley is hopeful that the improvements will significantly reduce the problems patients have experienced to date – and she has pledged to continue to monitor patient feedback and take further steps if necessary.
She said, “I deeply regret any distress, confusion and upset that patients and their relatives and carers have experienced since the new automatic number plate recognition system was introduced.
“During the last three months we have listened to all the complaints and feedback and spoken to our car park operator, Parking Eye, to try and improve the current system.
“We do understand that those who visit our hospital can be stressed and worried already and the last thing we want to do is add to their concerns by making paying for parking a difficult process.
“One of the reasons for choosing the Parking Eye system was the flexibility it offered. For instance, people who arrive in a rush without cash can choose to pay after they leave the site by telephone or over the Internet. The removal of barriers also made it easier for people with disabilities who no longer have to lean out of their cars to press a button and take a ticket.
“However, we do recognise that there were flaws with the new system and so in line with the feedback we have received we have made the following changes: Existing keys pads will be replaced with ones that are easier to read when inputting your car registration number.
- The height of some pay machines will be raised
- There will be changes to the tariff for parking to make it easier to follow
- Change machines will be provided in key areas
- Improved instructions have been added to the payment machines
- Improved signage has been placed around the hospital sites
- Better lighting has been installed near the outdoor machines
“Anyone who makes a mistake when they enter their registration number will continue to have any penalty notice cancelled. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely over the coming weeks and if problems persist, we will look at what else can be done.
“We would encourage anyone who feels they have received a parking charge notice that is unjustified to submit an appeal via www.parkingeye.co.uk/appeal or call 0844 247 2982 so that the circumstances can be fully investigated.
“The hospital will offer its full support when people have made a genuine attempt to pay. Anyone who has appealed to Parking Eye and is unhappy with the response should call us on 01283 511511 extension 5359.”