'Without a doubt the care and health worker permit has delivered real benefits to its users'
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One of the huge successes of 2020 must be the carers and health workers permit scheme. A scheme that allows care and health workers to park on double yellow lines across the county which is now being made permanent.
Not only did the scheme allow care and health professionals visiting people at home to park on double yellow lines in certain situations, but those who hold the permit can also park in on-street, limited waiting and residents’ parking bays for no charge when delivering essential services to residents in their homes.
The new permit will allow parking on double yellow lines for an hour, but only if there is no other parking available.
At the end of the one year trial, I had the pleasure to present the findings of the pilot to the County Council’s cabinet reporting just how successful it had been and also how invaluable it had been to care providers during the current Coronavirus pandemic. More than 9,000 permits have been issued to care givers, social services and NHS providers working across the county.
My Cabinet colleagues unanimously agreed that the current scheme is to be retained and becomes permanent, and that the scheme is extended to permit up to three hours parking on “no waiting” restrictions, increasing from the one hour previously permitted. The permits will have a time clock which must be displayed, similar to ones that are used by blue badge holders.
Without a doubt the care and health worker permit has delivered real benefits to its users. Of the 228 responses received in our survey, 100 per cent of current permit holding responders wanted the scheme to be continued as it has made a difference in their ability to deliver an efficient service and improved the quality and quantity of time spent with their client/patients.
They report that savings have been made and that staff retention and recruitment has been improved as a result of a permit scheme which minimises the risk to care staff of being fined when parked when providing care to a client/patient.
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The pandemic has seen the general public come to recognise and appreciate the value these key workers play in society. In our initial consultation to introduce a permit scheme for care workers, over 94 per cent of responses were in favour of the introduction of this permit.
I should like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you a very happy and prosperous New Year and let’s hope an end to the Covid pandemic is in sight.
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