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​‘Financially challenged’ Royal Cornwall Hospital hikes up staff parking charges

By WBCaroline  |  Posted: August 14, 2014


Comments (2)

Furious hospital workers have hit out at Royal Cornwall Hospital’s decision to hike up staff car parking charges.

The decision is set to cost workers hundreds of pounds just to do their jobs.

In a letter leaked to the West Briton, the hospital’s chief executive Lezli Boswell tells staff that parking charges at Treliske will increase in October.

Under the new parking permit charges staff working over 22.5 hours will have to fork out £330 a year to park – up to a fivefold increase for some staff on the previous charge.

Consultants and Trust Board members working similar hours will pay £500 a year for a permit.

Those working 22.5 hours of less will need to pay £260 to park at the hospital car park, run by Q Park, while consultants working similar hours will be charged £390.

The letter urges staff to use the Park and Ride service – the staff concession for which has been scrapped by Cornwall Council.

In the letter Mrs Boswell’s defends the decision by saying the Trust is facing “financial challenges” and that it “can no longer justify spending £40,000 per year (rising to £70,000) to support staff car parking when we need to prioritise clinical services.”

She goes on: “It was not a decision that we took lightly and we recognise that the impact of the increases will be difficult. To that end, we have made sure that our staff car parking charges remain below those of other NHS Trusts in the region, including Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton.

But one RCHT employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said they are disappointed at the news.

Previously they had paid around £60 a year to park in the staff car park.

They said: “Staff are saying that with a pay freeze, our pay is worth 10 per cent less than in 2009.

“That coupled with ever shrinking staffing levels is making healthcare professionals feel devalued and many are looking for alternative employment.
"That means it's going to cost me £446 just to do my job.

"That has resulted in staff morale being at an all-time low and it will ultimately reflect in the standard of care to patients. The Royal Cornwall Hospital's NHS Trust is developing a reputation as an organisation that does not look after or indeed care about its staff."

Another member of staff, who did not wished to be named, said they were previously paying £96 a year - with the increase they will be paying three times as much.

The loss of the subsidy to the Park and Ride Service will mean using public transport to get to work will cost workers £240 a year.

“All they seemed to be interested in doing is getting out of debt and the only people they can punish, sadly, is the staff.

“We are frontline emergency staff providing high care, it’s not nice.

The hospital is considering selling part of its staff car park –called the gravel pit -, which only has planning permission until 2016 to raise £2 million to help the Trust to pay for facilities, equipment and services. 

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  • cornwall999  |  August 18 2014, 12:32AM

    Well said John 99 What does that say about the gutless senior Management at RCHT who were invited on the Lawrence Reed phone in program, to defend their position regarding their obscene decision to hike up staff car parking charges. They were unavailable for comment and sent out a long statement which parts were read by Lawrence . This is an absolute scandal that runs from the very top of RCHT . Where is your open dialogue ? when the trust`Listening to Action s scheme is clearly not being implemented. Your agenda is to introduce profit into health care and structured around what pays: "not whats best for the patients." You do not consider your wonderful front line staff who are dedicated to the patients, the back bone of RCHT . and truly deserve better !What with their pay freeze which is further demoralizing , to then be told that car park prices are increasing: what a stab in the back ! What about cutting down on your agency staff which one day will be exposed via the freedom of Information! Now that has to be costing many thousands of pounds, yes, all paid by us the taxpayer. Without out sounding disingenuous do you managers really think you deserve to be paid so much money? Personally I don`t think so, when your only objective is to privatise and destroy the NHS. I am joining Keep our NHS Public , Cornwall which was formed recently and is campaigning against the privatisation of the NHS . We can be found at keepournhspubliccornwall.com or reached at konp.cornwall@yahoo.com.uk "Stand up for justice. " Shirley Sweeney

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  • Johno_99  |  August 16 2014, 6:07PM

    The Trust says that this increase, that affects the lowest paid most, has to happen to avoid the £40,000 subsidy (rising to £70,000). An alternative would be to reduce the corporate communications team to the size it was before the current leadership was in place. I know that if I was in charge and had a choice between hitting thousands of staff with a huge rise in parking charges or cutting the communications department who add to nothing to front line clinical services what choice I would make. But then I have care and compassion. I would also lead by example and ensure that all the execs use the park and ride rather than the immediate spaces outside the headquarters building. It's time that all Trust staff recognise that the current leadership care nothing about staff, that the Trust values are to make the leadership feel better about themselves but are meaningless in terms of how they view and treat staff. In the last few months the Trust's poorest paid have been privatised where no doubt they will have terms and conditions reduced (how else can Mitie deliver savings and make a profit) and now also have parking charges going up by 100s of percent. Care and Compassion (Trust values) - should be replaced with do as we say not do as we do. Shame on all of you.

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