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NHS Trust responds to campaign
4:30pm Thursday 26th February 2009 in News
MID Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has issued a lengthy statement in response to the launch of our campaign.
Phil Morley, trust chief executive, said: “In reality, car parking charges are ultimately necessary in the NHS world of finite resources.
“If we were to scrap parking charges, the cost of maintaining our car parks and the security of our visitors, staff and vehicles would need to be funded from our fixed budget.
“This would also have an impact on the funding of other services, as clearly the cost of providing car parking facilities would have to be allocated out of our service funds.
“This slice of our budget is currently spent on providing patient care.
“We have made the choice to spend our budget on providing care and treatments for our patients, including those from Northwich, rather than on car parking facilities.
“Last year’s figures showed that we raised around £900,000 from car parking charges.
“A large part of this income (some £600,000) funds the provision, maintenance and security of our car parks – making grounds improvements, such as resurfacing, external lighting, pedestrian walkways and security barriers, improving the overall experience of visiting our hospitals.
“It also funds the provision of security staff to monitor the CCTV cameras provided by the WRVS, enabling the trust to safeguard our staff, visitors and their cars and providing a real deterrent to crime at both at VIN and at Leighton Hospital. “Our estates team are currently working hard to fix an underground storage tank for storm water which has led to a puddle reappearing on the VIN car park.
“Problems such as this are costly to repair and we would not like to think that services would be affected as a result of these costs.
“The additional £313,000 funded facilities for stroke patients at Leighton Hospital.
“We doubled the size of the stroke unit, ensuring patients who are unfortunate enough to suffer a stroke receive first class care in a modern new unit and are cared for by additional nursing staff.
“This ward is used not only by Crewe patients, but also by patients from the Northwich area.
“Without the car parking funding, these enhancements could not have been made.
"As a foundation trust, we are accountable to our governors.
“We are currently working with them to review the way in which our car parking charges are implemented.”