NHS staff at the Royal Oldham Hospital hit with parking fines from private company

Date published: 15 April 2021

NHS staff at the Royal Oldham Hospital are being hit with parking fines due to a lack of space on the site.

Staff say they are struggling to park after one of the hospital car parks was closed.

Works at the hospital required the closure of the car park, leading to extra pressure on the already busy hospital.

As a result of the closure, staff are forced to park alongside other vehicles or on the grass verge leading towards the car parks.

But staff have been ticketed and fined by a third party company called 'Open Parking' who manage parking on behalf of the Pennine Acute NHS Hospitals Trust.

One furious front-line member of staff told the Chronicle "We're often forced to park in other areas or else we can't arrive on time for our shifts.

"Oldham site management have taken to issuing parking charge notices to their permit paying members of staff, simply for the privilege of turning up to work their shifts - with no reasonable alternative in place.

"They even have ticketed the Oldham Royal Rover - a free patient transport service."

Staff say that none of these cars are parked obstructively and continue to allow flow around the site and do not obstruct ambulances or other transport.

One member of staff told us that it was affecting morale: "It's a disgusting abuse of hard working members of NHS staff. After 12 months of grueling work in a pandemic, and after a 12 hour shift on the wards you're greeted with a parking ticket at the end of the day."

A spokesperson for the Pennine Acute NHS Hospitals Trust told the Chronicle: "We are working hard to find solutions for our staff for when they do need to park on our site. Demand for staff parking is currently higher than normal, as parking charges and permit charges have been suspended by the Government during the pandemic.

"We have regularly communicated to our staff about changes to our parking offer and enforcement. All parking charge notices are processed and managed by a parking company called Open Parking on behalf of the Trust and as part of their appeal review process they will sympathetically look at car parking charges on a case by case basis. Where vehicles are found to be in breach of parking conditions, as detailed by relevant signage and road marks, they could be issued with a parking charge notice.

"Alternative staff parking is currently available Monday to Friday (07:00 to 18:00 hours) on the Oldham Athletic Football Club ground and Oldham Athletic are allowing NHS staff to use the adjacent car park, which is normally the pay and display, both of which can be accessed off Sheepfoot Lane."

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