Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (YDH) is a rural district general in Somerset, caring for a patient population of 185,000 people and employing 2,200 staff. Demand for parking at the hospital has outgrown the onsite provision, which is spread across a number of small on-site car parks, with additional spaces allocated for staff in off-site parking across the locality.
The Trust had been trying to resolve the site’s parking and access issues for more than 20 years, and knew that with demand set to grow in the future through increasing patient numbers and ambitious plans to bring in new facilities, it was a priority scheme and an enabler for achieving its wider masterplan.
The Trust however, did not have the capital to develop new parking facilities and needed a solution that would enable it to retain the income stream generated from parking.
During previous consultations on hospital parking, plans had been suggested for a parking facility with basement levels to be built on the site of one of the existing surface level car parks. Using Prime’s development expertise, Interserve Prime (IP) advised the Trust on a more affordable option for the same site. Taking into account the change in ground levels, this included a Vertical Circulation Module layout system to work with the challenging topography and remove the need for costly excavation work.
The four-storey parking facility with 656 spaces will provide additional parking to meet current and future demand in a single, convenient location adjacent to the main hospital entrance. With plans including a new link road and one-way system across the hospital, it will also ensure that vehicles can easily access and exit the site, without causing inconvenience to local residents.
The project has been made possible by access to flexible and affordable private finance, with funding secured by IP through an institutional pension fund. This has provided the capital for the scheme without the Trust giving up operational control, allowing it to retain the income generated from parking.
- Improvement to the patient and visitor experience, with minimal disruption to residents – With better quality parking and access to the hospital, visiting the site will be much easier and less stressful for patients and visitors, with the link road also allowing easy access and exit from the site with minimal disruption to residents. Wayfinding will also improve as the multi-storey car park is adjacent to the main hospital entrance.
- Enabling major estate improvements help to transform models of care – By using private sector investment to finance new developments, the small rural Trust will be able to make major changes to the estate that will help it transform models of care and support YDH as a hub for local healthcare.
- Futureproof plans in-line with long term strategy for the hospital – IP is involved in the masterplanning of the hospital site, meaning that plans for the new car park and access improvements have been developed as part of the Trust’s wider vision for transformation and prepare the estate for future redevelopment projects.
- Sensitive handling of consultation and engagement due to highly residential location – IP advised on a communications strategy to help guide local residents and other key stakeholders through the development, consultation, planning and construction process, including; producing posters for the hospital entrance area, public meetings and direct letters and one-to-one meetings with local residents.
The access and parking project is something that we have been wanting to do for some time and it has finally become a reality thanks to the SEP with Interserve Prime. It’s given us the additional resources and expertise to progress the project in a very short time frame.
Paul Mears Chief Executive, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust