Dying to park?

One of the perks of being a councillor is that one is issued with a permit that allows free use of car parks, parking meters, and residential parking areas whilst conducting one’s councillor duties. Not all councillors take advantage of this (some do not even drive) but I find it essential as my ward, covering the town centre as it does, has special parking problems.

I realise I am fortunate to have this, and prior to my election had to get by as my residents have to.

I have twice, in my time as a councillor, been made aware that health staff do not enjoy this privilege. I was told by a nurse (whose role largely involved visiting patients in their homes) that she had, on at least one occasion, had to abandon attempts to visit a patient because she could find nowhere to park. In a very real sense, a resident’s health was threatened by the parking disaster that is central Southend.

Whilst I can accept that the above example may be rare, if it was me being denied a visit because a nurse or doctor could not park I would be less than happy. Our health is our most precious resource.

Health staff who incur parking fines have to pay these themselves, even if incurred whilst carrying out their duties.

I have had recent conversations with residents who want residents parking schemes. These present a challenge, especially if a resident does not subscribe to the scheme. These residents, if visited by health care workers, will not be able to offer them visitor permits. It would indeed be an irony if those near to the hospital, for instance, were denied health care by the scheme in place there.

This must be wrong. Spending time finding a parking space, and then whatever walk is necessary once parked if this is not close to the patient’s home is a waste of precious time; it is an even bigger waste if many minutes are spent in fruitless pursuit of somewhere to park. We are creating a situation that threatens our health, inconveniences our district nurses and the like, and is angering residents.

I believe this impacts doctors, nurses, and carers, and only exempts those in emergency vehicles. With healthcare being increasingly delivered in homes this situation, which is likely quite rare at the moment, can only worsen. We must provide a way to allow these important people to serve their patients properly, and to not be out-of-pocket doing so.

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5 Responses to Dying to park?

  1. only exempts those in emergency vehicles

    And therein lies the solution that is practised elsewhere “so successfully” within the NHS. You wait until you are really ill and need to go into A&E – then an ambulance will collect you and they can park anywhere!
    This will also have the added advantage of demonstrating that you don’t really need these services in the community and they can be cut!
    Oh dear, I have been listening to too much afternoon TV again.

  2. What about after care? Treating people in their homes saves the tax-payers money, as well as helping recovery. What about visits to the elderly, or those in need of occasional care? There are many reasons why nurses and the like visit people in their own homes. What of midwives too?

  3. Julian, you really don’t understand.
    If someone elderly in hospital demonstrates that they can use a frame to get to the toilet and can boil a kettle in the hospital’s Occupational Therapy kitchen, they are well enough to go home.
    If there is no community care they will come back, be put in a bed and further weakened.
    Eventually they will be discharged to a care home – and in most cases end up paying for themselves.
    If you cannot privatise the NHS, you can at least privatise the care of the elderly!
    (I really must stop watching the Conservative Conference on TV – I think it is affecting my mind)

  4. rayandsue says:

    Ve haff vay’s of dealing wiv those who voch Conservatif conference on TV! Zese people vill warp de mind und make bad greed, your virtue,

    However, you may watch Labour Conferences and become a virtual Marxist,
    What a Surprise to hear Julian’s Father was a Marxist too! I had never have guessed that!
    Whew!
    What a close shave we all had back then eh! If all the Marxist Fathers had won our hearts and minds, We would all be driving around in ZIL’s and laughing hysterically at the USA having to shut shop this week,

    Marxism was a bit ‘ over the top ‘ though, ( as their virtual demise from the world stage would suggest )
    But something in between would be more palatable to most of us as we sail merrily on to financial Armageddon under the Tory’s.

    Be careful Ed. don’t sail too close to the wind on this one, It’s been tried before.

    Rayandsue

  5. Pingback: Dying to park update – it is not as bad as I feared | Julian's musings

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