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Posted on behalf of Mark Power, Director of Organisational Development and Workforce, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Please send any queries to transport@ouh.nhs.uk

On behalf of the Travel and Transport Team I would like to thank the many people who contributed to the recent staff travel and transport consultation process.  Your feedback informed the further development of the revised documentation - Staff Travel and Car Parking Policy, Staff Parking Procedures, Staff Sustainable Travel Information - which were received and approved at the meeting of the Workforce Committee in November.

Please do ensure you are familiar with the contents of these documents, copies of which are available on the OUH web page at:

www.ouh.nhs.uk/working-for-us/employment/commuting-to-work.aspx

It is particularly important if you are intending to apply for a new or replacement vehicle parking permit, because under the provisions of the revised Staff Travel and Car Parking Policy the eligibility criteria have changed.  The introduction of the revised criteria may mean that some members of staff are no longer entitled to receive a parking permit.  Where this is the case, a temporary two-month permit will be issued to allow time to make alternative travel arrangements. 

The Travel and Transport Team is keen to offer anyone a personal travel planning service to assist in sourcing the best alternative methods of travel. To take advantage of this service please email transport@ouh.nhs.uk making sure you put “PTP” in the email subject heading, to make sure it stands out amongst the many emails received daily into that mailbox.

Here is a summary of some of the main changes to the revised Policy and Procedures documents:

New Parking Permit Application System

We are now in the final testing stage of implementing the new on-line Parking Permit Application System, which will be introduced very soon.  In the interim, anyone who wishes to receive a permit, and who meets the eligibility criteria, should apply using the existing paper-based form.  Renewals should be made one month before the expiry date of the current permit.  Application forms are available on the Trust intranet site at: http://orh.oxnet.nhs.uk/Estates/Pages/travel.aspx or from one of our Car Parking Offices.   If you have submitted an application for a permit, but have yet to receive it, please do not re-apply using the new on-line system when it is launched, because it will not accept duplicate entries.   The link to the new system will be well communicated and included in the revised Policy and Procedures documents.

Breach of Contract Notice (BCN) Appeals

Via the Transport and Car Parking email addresses, members of the Travel and Transport Team often receive messages from staff asking for their intervention in withdrawing a BCN.  Please be advised that, where a member of staff wishes to contest the receipt of a BCN, the internal appeals process must be followed.  This process is clearly explained within the Staff Travel and Car Parking Policy and in the BCN paperwork.  Adherence to the appeals process ensures there is consistency and that everyone is treated equitably.  Also, failure to follow the appeals process is likely to cause delay, as the appeal must be received within 14 days of the BCN being issued.

Out of Hours Permits

If you have applied for an out of hours permit (which is free of charge) in the last few weeks, but have yet to receive it, please do not be concerned.  The Travel and Transport Team has been principally focused on managing the volume of general applications, but is now beginning to process the outstanding out of hours permit requests.  We aim to issue these in early January.  Please be assured that you will not receive a BCN if you are parking on site out of hours without a valid permit.

Permit Charges

In response to our consultation, I am pleased to confirm that the charges for staff parking permit have been harmonised for the three Headington sites.  The charges are detailed within the revised Staff Parking Procedures document, which also provides information regarding the locations of our authorised staff parking areas.  Please do ensure you know where these are, because anyone who parks their vehicle in an unauthorised area is likely to receive a BCN.

Disability and Ill Health

Members of staff who have a declared disability need to apply and pay for a parking permit in the normal way.  Please use our designated staff disabled parking spaces and display both your permit and your Blue Badge.  There are also new procedures for applying for a temporary permit where there is a change in circumstances, due to reasons of health, which is supported by advice from our Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service.

Departmental Permits

Additional departmental permits will be made available where staff who are not otherwise eligible to receive a parking permit nevertheless need to bring their vehicle to work on an intermittent basis, for business reasons.  These permits should be requested by the department, and logged out and back in after use.  Please make further enquire via email, at: transport@ouh.nhs.uk, making sure you put “Departmental Permits” in the email subject heading.

Display of Staff Parking Permits

Vehicles parked on our hospital sites must, at all times, display a valid parking permit.  This responsibility rests with the vehicle user, who must also ensure that their permit remains in date. Once the proposed automatic number plate recognition system is installed, paper permits will no longer be necessary and will be phased out.  Until the new equipment is commissioned, the parking enforcement officers will continue to rely on visual inspections, so to avoid the risk of receiving a BCN please do ensure you always display your permit.  Please be advised that staff who pay for their permit by monthly salary deductions will not receive an annual replacement without the submission of a renewal application - please do not be caught out by displaying an invalid permit.  Permit holders are also asked not to use non-staff designated parking areas, because this is very unfair to our patients and visitors.

Finally, I am only too aware that car parking can be a highly emotive topic, so I am very grateful for everyone’s contributions through our recent consultation and for your patience whilst a number of longstanding problems and issues have been addressed.  Some issues remain outstanding, but there is a continued commitment to making further improvements.  I wish to thank the members of the Travel and Transport Team, and colleagues working within our Car Parking Offices, for their professionalism and forbearance under often difficult and demanding circumstances.  In your interaction with these colleagues please do remember to treat them courteously - over the past months there has been occasion when frustration has turned to anger and even aggression.  Although not commonplace, we should not tolerate such behaviours.

The Team is here to help, so please do make contact if you require further advice or assistance.       

Thank you.

Mark Power, Director of Organisational Development and Workforce

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust