Council pledges to provide free parking for healthcare staff on home visits

Move welcomed by nursing organisations, with other councils called on to adopt similar ‘common-sense’ approach

Move welcomed by nursing organisations, with other councils called on to adopt similar ‘common-sense’ approach

Picture: Alamy

Nurses have praised a council's ‘common-sense’ decision to offer free parking to healthcare staff visiting patients in the community.

The move by Oldham Council comes after staff highlighted problems finding parking spaces while carrying out home visits.

As a result, a small number of passes will now be made available to district nurses and other health and social care staff working in the Greater Manchester town.

Oldham Council cabinet member
Zahid Chauhan.

Oldham Council cabinet member for health and social care Zahid Chauhan said: ‘The proposals recently unveiled for healthcare workers across Oldham are in response to these issues and address the difficulties they face while on official business and caring for our most vulnerable residents.

‘The introduction of passes for our integrated teams is vital in enabling them to park freely.

‘A small number will be made available and distributed in accordance of need – these passes are not for everyday use by staff at their normal place of work.’

‘Pragmatic and sensible’

The initiative has been welcomed by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership lead nurse for primary care and community Louise Brady, who called on other councils to follow suit.

Lead nurse for primary care and
community Louise Brady.

She said: ‘We know our nurses and support staff have struggled to get timely access to parking spaces in the past, and accrued parking fines in the process, while tending to families, carers and vulnerable residents requiring complex and end of life care.

‘Praise to Oldham’s councillors for employing a pragmatic and sensible solution. It would be fantastic if other boroughs across Greater Manchester take Oldham’s lead.’

Parking costs

Mr Chauhan added that the council and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust were also looking at how to support social and healthcare workers who cannot claim parking costs when based at their normal office location.

He said: ‘This is work in progress and will be taken in the context of the costs of all staff who are located in town centre locations.’

A Queen’s Nursing Institute spokesperson said: ‘We know that parking can be a major problem for healthcare workers, including district nurses, in some areas. Therefore it’s good to see this initiative, which seems to be the common-sense approach, so that more patients can be treated safely at home.’

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