Volunteers at Northampton General Hospital could lose free parking permits

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Volunteers at NGH will no longer be able to park for free in the hospital car park seven days a week if new proposals are approved.

Northampton General Hospital bosses are deciding whether to withdraw some or part of the privileges for the likes of members of the Friends of NGH members who transport patients in buggies around the hospital.

At the moment, most volunteers are issued with a seven-day permit so they can carry out their duties on a casual basis.

But the hospital is under constant and well-documented pressure to create enough parking spaces for staff, visitors and patients and wants to encourage as many people as possible to use public transport.

A spokeswoman for Northampton General Hospital said: “Pressure on car parking at Northampton General Hospital continues to rise due to increasing demand for hospital services.

“Despite significantly increasing the number of spaces available on site over the last 18 months, as well as renting additional off-site spaces for staff from the borough council, parking continues to be problematic, especially at peak times during the day. We simply don’t have enough parking spaces to meet demand.

“We encourage all users of the site to use other means of transport rather than cars wherever possible. In order to give patients priority, we have had to introduce a number of restrictive measures for our staff.

“We have also reviewed the current system of issuing parking permits to volunteers and concluded that, unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to provide parking permits of the type that have been issued to date.

The spokeswoman said Northampton General Hospital is considering whether it is able to provide its volunteers with some element of reimbursement for car parking/travel expense.

She said: “We have undertaken a review to see how we can make our arrangements more consistent. We hope to make a decision on that soon.”