Hospital car parking provision and management
Most of our hospitals were designed and built in an era when car ownership and usage were significantly less than they are today. With more services being placed on constricted HSC hospital sites together with an increase in health and social care activity, there is evidence to suggest that current capacity and management of car parking has become a problem for most acute hospitals in Northern Ireland.
The Minister asked for a regional review of car parking with the objective of establishing the current position in relation to charging, free car parking provision and capacity.
The main outcomes of the review were:
- ensuring that eligibility criteria for free car parking are consistently applied across HSC trusts
- car parking solutions adopted at each hospital must fit the particular needs and circumstances of the facility
- the introduction of car parking charges and the levels of charge will remain a local decision for each individual trust
The outcome of the review resulted in the production of the 'Guidance for HSC Hospital Car Parking Provision and Management'.
During 2005, the Environmental Cleanliness Reference Group (ECRG) developed a regional strategy called 'Cleanliness Matters'. This strategy and the supporting toolkit were officially launch by the Minister on 5 October 2005. These two documents together with a supporting controls assurance standard, were issued to the HPSS on 11 October 2005.
In January 2015, Minister Wells approved a Policy for the Provision and Management of HSC Cleaning Services. This policy provides a framework for the delivery of cleaning services throughout the HSC in Northern Ireland. The policy focuses on cleaning services for patients, staff and visitors on hospital sites however the principles are also relevant to the provision of cleaning services to patients and clients in other health service amenities, such as mental health and community facilities.
The aim is to provide an optimum regional approach which will provide quality and value for money in the provision of these services.
The strategy takes account of a number of factors such as:
- changing technologies for laundering materials
- the need to provide for contingency in the event of a laundry having to unexpectedly close for reasons such as fire damage
- the ability of the private sector to provide a quality and value for money service
- the current state and potential of existing facilities
- opportunities provided by planned hospital developments
- potential economies of scale of large centralised operations versus the advantages of a local service
- development of new textiles which do not require ironing