A new free parking scheme has been introduced at the Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals in recognition of staff’s “extraordinary efforts” working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also took the decision to axe all charges for the next three months due to the decrease in numbers of visitors using the car parks, which means more parking spaces are available.
She said: “In recognition of the new space available on our site, as a result of the restricted visiting and the extraordinary efforts our staff are going to, and will continue to go to over the coming months, we have made a decision to suspend all car parking charges for staff and visitors over the next three months.”
A hospital spokeswoman said some staff at the Royal Preston will still have to park off site because there are not enough places for all employees who travel to the site by car.
She stressed: “We do want people to be mindful of where they are parking. It’s really very clearly signed to say if it’s staff (parking areas).”
Across its sites the Trust employs 8,000 staff. The spokeswoman added: “There are a lot more spaces available for people now,”
To reduce the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus patient visiting has been restricted to immediate family members or carers between the hours of 2pm-3pm. Patients are being encouraged to retain contact with family and friends through mobile phones. Only one visitor at a time may attend a bedside. Any exceptions to such restrictions will be advised via the hospital website.
•The Trust serves a local community of 390,000 people and provides specialist services to 1.5m people in Lancashire and South Cumbria.