Doctor’s office begins issuing fines to people using their parking lot illegally

A doctor’s office in Plymouth has installed automatic cameras in its car park – and people are already starting to be fined for misuse. Knowle House Surgery, in Meavy Way, installed the cameras in its parking lot at the end of March.

The decision was made after health chiefs were inundated with complaints from patients unable to find a space in their car park. The facility had often been used by people for other services in the area such as dentist, optician or just shopping in Crownhill.

At least eight signs around the parking lot were erected before the cameras went live, the surgery said, along with signs in the waiting room and on a large A-frame. Patients seeing medical staff in Knowle House Surgery can park in the car park if they register their details with the reception staff. But the adjacent pharmacy is not affiliated with Knowle House and so patients using the pharmacy cannot use the car park.

Read more – Plymouth’s worst driver has 30 points on his license

Sarah Cousins, chief of staff for Knowle House Surgery & Tamerton Surgery, said they understood some patients were angry, but the changes. But she added that some of their staff had been verbally abused by members of the public who are not their patients when asked to move their cars in the past.

“We are very fortunate to be one of the few practices in Plymouth that can provide parking for our patients as many only offer staff parking or have no parking available at all, a- she declared. “We are not obliged to provide parking for our patients, but we do so to make it easier for them.

“Recently, however, we have been inundated with complaints from patients about not being able to find a space in our car park and yet when they arrive at the practice there are very few people in the waiting room. indeed many people use our car park for other services in the area such as dentist, optician or just shopping in Crownhill as they think ours is a free car park.

“We made the decision as a practice to have the cameras installed after speaking with other practices in the area who had also done the same and are now having a very positive experience for their patients.”

Members of the public had contacted PlymouthLive after receiving fines to say they were unaware of the signage and policy change, and although they had received a text, it was two weeks after being fined. Sarah said signs had increased before the policy was put in place and unfortunately not everyone had consented to receiving messages from the surgery.

“We had the signs put up a week before we put the fines in place and there are a number of large signs (at least 8) around the car park including one when driving which is clearly very visible to all,” said she added. . “We have also put up signs around our waiting room and on a large A-frame before you enter the practice. We have also put very clear information on our website.

“When it became clear that patients hadn’t noticed the signs or the website, we texted to try to reach others, but it seems not everyone received it. neither, as we can only message patients who have up-to-date numbers and have consented to receive messages on their records.

“I understand that this feels like a huge change for patients who have been registered here for a long time and also for patients who have been using the pharmacy for a long time. It seems that many patients have not realized that the pharmacy is a completely different business from ours and although they rent the space in the building from us, they are not entitled to any of the parking spaces.

“Before the cameras were installed, we had patients who were unable to park to come to an appointment at the practice because the pharmacy has a queue of people waiting and they all parked in our parking lot. Some of our staff have also been verbally abused by members of the public who are not our patients when asked to move their cars in the past.

“There are other parking options close to the practice – the public car park next to ours costs just £1 to park for 1 hour. Alternatively, the public can park at Farm Foods for 2 hours free and also in Crownhill Village which has 3 hours free parking.

“We have already seen a huge improvement in the availability of parking spaces for patients with appointments. Please note that we do not profit from fines and our motivation was only to provide more parking spaces for patients. »

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