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Car park charges for patients and visitors at Princess Alexandra Hospital to be reinstated from November 1

Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow will be reinstating car park charges for its patients and visitors from November 1.

The decision to cease free parking follows the end of Government funding to support hospitals across the country which waived charges at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic 18 months ago.

The tariffs will remain the same. These are: up to 20 minutes for dropping off and picking up – free; up to 4 hours – £2.90; up to 6 hours – £4; up to 24 hours – £6. Parking for Blue Badge holders is free.

Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT), which runs PAH as well as the Herts and Essex and St Margaret's hospitals in Bishop's Stortford and Epping, says patients and visitors will see improvements to parking, with designated spaces in alternative locations and clearly signposted.

Motorists can pay at the machines on site or, as before, they can pay online, via an app or over the phone up to 24 hours after their visit. To pay after their visit, patients and visitors can download the paybyphone app, visit www.paybyphone.co.uk or call 0330 400 7275. The site code is 802632.

Payment points at PAH are located in the main entrance and next to the emergency department entrance; the entrance near the new fracture clinic; by cellular pathology and across from the eye unit, near the bus stop.

Blue Badge holders should display the clock section of their badge in their vehicle window and present the photo section to the main reception. Out of hours (6pm-8am) patients and visitors should attend the emergency department (ED/A&E) reception to present the photo section of their Blue Badge. They will need to log the registration for each vehicle they use.

PAHT provides a large number of bays close to entrances for Blue Badge holders. Staff will be available at the car park locations to support patients or visitors as required.

Exemptions will apply as before for patients or relatives regularly attending the Williams day unit, neonatal intensive care unit, Gibberd ward or labour ward, and people who are eligible via the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).

Ward staff will advise if patients or relatives are eligible for a concessionary parking permit and will help with completing the application form.

There is also a set-down parking zone immediately outside the main entrance, outside the eye clinic and the maternity entrance. It is free, but there is a strict 'no waiting' policy in force and drivers must leave the area within five minutes of arrival. Failure to comply with these terms and conditions could result in a parking charge of £100.

Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at PAHT, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, as with all hospitals across the country, we received funding from the Government which supported us to enable car parking to be free of charge for all. As this funding has ceased, it is now necessary for us to reinstate car parking charges for our patients and visitors.

“We would urge all patients and visitors to familiarise themselves with the car parking arrangements ahead of 1 November, if possible.

"Help and guidance will also be available on site from our dedicated car parking attendants, or from our teams at the ward or department you are visiting, if there are any questions once the car parking charges are reinstated. We appreciate the support of all of our patients and visitors.”

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