Creative Parking Solutions clinches major NHS contract

ADvanced parking solution to be rolled out at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Creative Parking Solutions has secured a major contract with one of the largest acute NHS trusts in England, the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT).

Creative Parking will be providing one of the most-advanced parking systems available in order to update and replace the trust’s existing permit and parking management methods and replace with a range of bespoke solutions which will offer easy, fair and cost-effective parking for staff, patients and visitors.

NHS procurement can typically take many months to be agreed, but following a consultation, CMFT was keen to embrace a new approach as quickly as possible, and selected Creative Parking as the right company to form a partnership with, based on its current experience of managing over 1000 UK car parks and working with more than 50 government authorities, each requiring their own tailored management system.

The first of the three initiatives is a bespoke staff permit management and processing system for the Central Manchester Hospital. The long-term objective is to have a paperless, E-permit system which will incorporate the installation of ANPR, reducing administration in a more environmentally-friendly and efficient way. In the interim, Creative Parking has taken over the management of its current paper-based system and is providing a dynamic, custom-built website for staff to renew their permits.

The functionality of this state-of-the-art system can be fully integrated with handheld devices used by car park attendants, as well as Automatic Number Plate Recognition and has the capability to incorporate a point-based qualifying system, an integrated mileage calculator, and can be linked to real-time public transport information

Staff make their permit application online, entering information about themselves, their vehicle and line manager. This is followed by a number of qualifying questions, the answers of which determine the level of permit they are entitled to, and this is subsequently verified and approved or rejected by management. For example, on-site, Park & Ride, or off-site. Three payment methods have also been built into the online system to enable staff to select salary deduction, salary sacrifice or debit/credit card payments.

Nigel Tobin, NHS partnership manager for Creative Parking Solutions, said: “The functionality of this state-of-the-art system can be fully integrated with handheld devices used by car park attendants, as well as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and has the capability to incorporate a point-based qualifying system, an integrated mileage calculator, and be linked to real-time public transport information.”

Once this system is fully effective, Creative Parking will implement the second phase, introducing the E-permit solution which has highly-sophisticated algorithms built in to take into account applicants’ distance from place of work, tasks, and job role, before allocating a permit.

“A crucial part of our role is to engage with various hospital interest groups, including patient groups, union representatives, and disability forums to ensure our delivered service is accepted by all,” added Tobin.

All changes currently being implemented, and those planned for the future, have been specifically designed to ensure parking facilities at CMFT car parks are fully compliant with the guidelines advised by the Department of Health. These include factors such as reasonable charges, concessions for certain groups, collaborative working to enforce rules, transparency and staff allocation according to personal and professional circumstances.

In addition to permit management, other initial changes Creative Parking is inaugurating include the provision of manual enforcement at the hospital’s central site. Car park attendants will manage the flow of vehicles while providing a general customer service element, whether directing motorists to pay stations or answering queries relating to the hospital itself.

A full ANPR management system has also been installed at the Trafford General Hospital, enforcing a three-hour free parking maximum stay. Hand-held tablet devices have been issued to reception staff to provide concessions for people with disabilities, frequent outpatients, or visitors whose medical condition requires them to extend their stay, for example.

Once these preliminary improvement steps are fully operational, the trust will be working closely with Creative Parking to roll its service out trust wide, providing cohesion across all departments and parking facilities. Creative Parking has appointed Anita Young as NHS liaison manager to help facilitate the transition and support the trust in the long-term by ensuring the service is always delivered seamlessly. With more than 30 years experience as head of customer services for the Co-operative, Anita upholds the highest values and will ensure a consistent empathic, customer focused approach.

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