Press Release Press Release Press Release

24 April 2001

‘Pilot’ Parking Plea to London Mayor

London Mayor Ken Livingstone is being asked to consider ‘pilot’ parking schemes for health visitors and community nurses as part of his transport strategy for the capital.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association is asking the Mayor to grant health visitors the same rights as GPs when they visit patients.

The CPHVA and the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association (CPNA) have been campaigning for a year to gain a better deal for health visitors and community nurses when using their cars on NHS business.

In a letter to the mayor, CPHVA director Jackie Carnell said: ‘What is very unfair is GPs presently enjoy this privilege – and many of their visits are not emergencies - while health visitors and community nurses, who are at the forefront of the government’s public health programme, do not.’

‘Many of our members have to spend valuable time trying to find a parking space – time that could be much better spent with clients. In their quest to give the best service possible, they often receive parking tickets, which many NHS trusts refuse to reimburse.’

The CPHVA recognises that the traffic situation in London is almost at breaking point and that’s why it is asking the mayor to consider ‘pilot’ schemes at this stage which could be monitored and their results analysed.

Ms Carnell added: ‘Such a scheme has the merit of not costing very much money to implement. The drawback at present, as we see it, is not financial, but administrative.’

‘A series of ‘pilot’ schemes across the metropolis would go a long way to assuage the great sense of grievance that our members feel on this issue. Parking – or the lack of it - is by far the biggest complaint from members.’

The CPHVA has also written to Nick Lester, director, Transport & Environment, Association of London Government on this issue.

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

1. The CPHVA understands that direct responsibility for car parking in the capital rests with the Mayor and the London borough councils.

2. At present, health visitors and community nurses can apply for the Health Emergency Badge from the Transport Committee for London, and this would enable them to park in an emergency. However, the vast majority of visits made by CPHVA members are not in the emergency category, but are, nevertheless, very important to clients who rely on the expertise that a health visitor or a community mental health nurse can provide.

3. While some members do have these emergency badges, they don’t use them for routine visits as they feel this would be an abuse of the system.

4. For further information, please contact:

Shaun Noble Press Officer 020 7939 7043

mobile 07768 69 39 40

5. CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: www.msfcphva.org

6. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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