Suzanne Rankin

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive


This week I’d like to talk about the changes to car parking we have coming up at St Peter’s and the new Enabling Remote Working guide.

You’ll know from my previous messages that we are about to embark on a very exciting Trust-wide transformation programme. Over the next two to three years we will radically improve facilities and services across the hospitals for the benefit of patients and the team.

Whilst it may sound like a strange starting point, improving the car parking at St Peter’s is the first piece of the jigsaw. It will enable us to fully move off the West Site (the land we sold to CALA Homes, some of which we are currently leasing back to use for parking) and progress the rest of our plans. These include widespread estates improvements, including a new urgent care building, Team ASPH Wellbeing Centres and improved retail and catering outlets.

From 1 October until July 2020 the main outpatients’ car park will close and a new multi-deck car park will be built in its place. When complete it will help address a long standing challenge for visitors and staff, but during the works there will be some inevitable disruption.

We will need to relocate visitor parking to the top two levels of the ‘old ramp’ area currently used by staff. This will mean a reduction of around 150 spaces available for staff. We will need to do things differently and consider individually, and as teams, the best way to reduce demand for spaces over the course of the week.

There are several options to consider – use alternative transport, car share or work remotely.

A key component of successfully managing this change is the ability for colleagues to work remotely – this may be from home or another suitable location. Car parking aside, research shows that remote working can have a really positive impact, not only on work-life balance and participation but also on employee wellbeing and job satisfaction. In addition, enabling remote working is just one of the ways that the Trust can look to reduce its carbon footprint and provide sustainable services into the future. We want to make it an option to as many colleagues as possible throughout the car parking works and beyond.

I appreciate it won’t be an option for everyone. Clearly direct in-patient care cannot be delivered remotely, but there are increasing examples of where clinical care and management can be, and a list of examples are contained within the guide such as; care planning and dictate IT. There are some interesting examples from individuals and teams who have enabled remote working in ways you may not have thought of.

Ashford will also see changes to its car parking arrangements. The sale of the old Estates and Transport works yard will relocate staff car parking onto the main site, but this will not result in a loss of staff spaces. The main gravel car park will be re-lined and partially tarmacked to improve the area and some redistribution of visitor car parking space will provide more spaces nearer to the main building. As part of this transformation a new day nursery will be provided in the old hospital restaurant.

I know that car parking can cause frustration and change can bring worry but my plea is to keep our eye on the prize. The new car parking arrangements will be much better for everyone and the opportunity to change our working culture via remote working is also an exciting step forward. Let’s work together to plan ahead as much as possible and minimise the disruption, making this a positive step on the transformation journey.

In the meantime have a good weekend and enjoy the (hopefully) improving weather.

With best wishes

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive