NHS Staff Parking Only sign

Guidance launched to support NHS trusts with new parking guidelines

New government guidelines come into force on 1 January 2021 requiring all 206 NHS Hospital Trusts across England to offer free parking to thousands of people - those with long-term conditions, the disabled, parents of children staying overnight and staff working night shifts. PayByPhone, a global leader in mobile parking payments, is helping hospitals to prepare for this change, easily and cost-efficiently, with its Rights and Rates feature.

Adam Dolphin, Sales Director for PayByPhone UK, said: “Managing and enforcing the government’s new guidelines could be a logistical nightmare for Trusts who aren’t set up to operate a complex parking offering. PayByPhone’s Rights and Rates makes it easy for hospitals by enabling them to offer flexible and bespoke parking tariffs.

"The hospital simply outlines the various categories entitled to free or to concessionary parking and the vehicle registration numbers of the eligible users, which are entered into the PayByPhone hospital database.

"Once a number plate has been added, that vehicle will automatically be exempt or be charged the correct reduced concession.”

Before the pandemic, PayByPhone’s cashless parking payment technology offered hospital car park users many advantages over traditional Pay & Display machines. Drivers didn’t need to worry about having the right change to feed the machines and, if visits or appointments lasted longer than planned, parking sessions could easily be extended remotely using a mobile device.

"Since the pandemic, the use of Pay & Display has become even less attractive to drivers who want to avoid handling cash or touching machines due to the risk of catching the virus. This is especially critical for people who are attending hospital who may have compromised immune systems.”

Croydon University Hospital has already implemented the government guidelines using PayByPhone’s Rights and Rates.

Wasim Ahmed, Supervisor for National Car Parks (EUK) Limited, who operates Croydon University Hospital’s car parks, says, “We have been using this feature for a couple of years now to offer a concessionary parking rate to staff.

"It replaced our previous scratch card permit system, which was incredibly problematic as the cards would often get lost or damaged, and replacing them wasn’t straightforward. Rights and Rates was easy to implement and was welcomed by all our staff.

"We have seen a marked increase in the use of PayByPhone’s cashless parking payment option since the start of the pandemic. Older people in particular are now keen to use it even though they were previously a little more resistant to using a cashless system.”

While Rights and Rates is a key feature for hospital car park administrators, PayByPhone’s cashless parking is equally important for visitors, patients and staff, as safety and hygiene concerns have become a priority since Covid-19.

To find out more about PayByPhone’s cashless parking payment services and its Rights and Rates feature, please visit paybyphone.co.uk.

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NHE May/June 2024

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