Hospital staff harassed in parking row – claim
STAFF at a Bristol hospital claim they are being harassed and intimidated by the firm which monitors parking at Frenchay Hospital.
Nurses said they had received fines from APCOA – the firm which North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) employs to run parking services on the site – and said that when they do not pay them they are threatened with bailiffs or court action.
Some have received fines for parking slightly outside the bays and claim threatening letters are sent out by the company.
Others who contacted the Post have started parking in residential streets near the hospital but claimed that their vehicles have suffered damage.
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One employee said: "Many of my colleagues have received parking fines, some for parking on or just over the white line of the parking bay, some for being parked in pay and display areas, and others, like me, for failing to display their parking permits. APCOA send several intimidating letters to the home addresses of those they have fined, demanding increasing amounts of money, threatening that bailiffs will attend the property, and threatening court action."
She said frontline hospital staff should not be "penalised, harassed and intimidated for parking their cars at work".
NBT said that they employ APCOA to manage parking according to the trust's policies to ensure they can maximise space and access for staff, patients and visitors.
They said the number of parking spaces available for employees was higher than other hospitals but that there is a finite number.
Director of facilities Simon Wood said: "Part of the arrangement is an enforcement process which uses penalty enforcement notices for inappropriate parking on our sites. This is exactly the same kind of scheme operated in city and town centres and other public areas across the country.
"Before they are issued with a parking permit, staff are asked to sign a declaration that they will park in accordance with trust parking rules. This clearly states that they will be issued with a notice if they park inappropriately.
"The trust reviewed and agreed the wording of the letters that are sent to staff and these mirror those used in schemes elsewhere.
"They are factual accounts of the process and consequences if notices remain unpaid.
"We ask our staff to park considerately and responsibly on public roads should they need to.
"We work with our neighbours to try to address their concerns and would ask them to contact us should they have issues they wish to raise."