Hospitals are supportive of patients

SIR – Eileen Bannister is concerned at the availability of parking spaces at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Yet in her letter in last week s paper, she also described the solution – our new multi-storey car park. With work due to start by the end of

SIR - Eileen Bannister is concerned at the availability of parking spaces at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Yet in her letter in last week's paper, she also described the solution - our new multi-storey car park.

With work due to start by the end of the year on this seven-level facility, the car park represents the answer to parking pressures at the Lister.

It will be linked directly in to the hospital, with the ground level dedicated to patient transport services and blue badge holders.

While it is being built, we are also pursuing a local park-and-ride scheme for many non-clinical staff to ensure that sufficient parking spaces for the public are still available at the hospital before the new car park opens towards the end of 2010.

With the new parking facilities around 20 months or so away, which will coincide with when additional patients from east Hertfordshire begin to come to the Lister in greater numbers, it is also right that we also continue to focus on current parking arrangements at the hospital.

Clearly there will always be peak times of the day, especially Monday to Friday, when finding a car parking space can be difficult.

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We have an explicit arrangement with our car parking contractors, Vinci to be supportive of patients in the predicament described by Ms Bannister.

It's not clear whether or not she did speak with the Vinci staff - the firm has a large office right in the main public car park at the Lister, but part of our contract agreement is that they work with patients and the public to find temporary parking solutions in situations where people are struggling to keep appointments in our hospitals.

Nick Carver,

Chief executive,

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.