Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Parking Space on a Par with the Skills of the Surgeon....SERIOUSLY!

Researcher Colin Howie, a senior orthopaedic consultant at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said there was evidence from parts of the NHS in the UK that factors such as food and parking were as important to patients as the operation.

“The clinical skills of the surgeon were on a par with a parking space,” he said.

Mr Howie said the NHS had to change its focus on how it was dealing with patients if it wanted to improve its satisfaction levels.

The study focused on more than 4,700 joint replacement surgery patients. Mr Howie said: “About a third of patients’ satisfaction comes from Doctor’s technical abilities, about a third comes from the Doctor telling them [patients] what’s going to happen and just under a third comes from the patients’ experience of the healthcare.

There is no doubt that the study is controversial and a blow to the egos of many in the healthcare industry. A response to the article in The Scotsman shows that. Harry Abbott writes, “Indeed, indeed...I see parking bays to replace operating theatres, spaces dedicated for appendicitis, others for replacement knees and hips, etc. ...all having, instead of anaesthetics, pay as you listen readings from today's news in the Scotsman. It'll be a sure and certain money spinner, and the savings on salaries of medical staff? Big figures, big figures.........

The problem is that many in the industry just don’t understand that the appointment starts from the time the patient drives onto the grounds, not the time they walk through the doctor’s clinic door. Patient or customer grooming has to be a major concern of hospitals and the best place to do that is in the car park.

I suspect there will be many people who will be up in arms about the validity of the survey or some such other reason to debunk the results, so as to keep the status quo. I applaud the survey but if nothing changes, then we know the reasons for having hospitals is not to provide care but to provide work for Doctors. As more than a couple of Doctors have told me in the past, if we didn’t have Hospitals, we wouldn’t have patients…. No seriously!

Kevin Warwood

These views are my own.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


“So that’s four 18 foot 2 x4’s, those 4 gates hinges and the box of nail-gun nails, right?” the teller at the local handy man shop asked. 
“That’s it’, I replied. 
“Got a big DIY job on have you?  Spending the weekend on the end of a hammer?” he said making a hammering motion with his hand. 
“Putting up a fence. Thought I might give it a go myself first …… before my wife calls a professional in.  How hard can it be?” I questioned. 
He looked at me and you could see the eyes rolling.  “Friend, ….. we get them all in here.  Everyone wants to give it a go first before they return with burnt fingers and a lesson learnt.  Ya know just over 80% of people try to do these projects themselves and they end up with simple injuries like falling off ladders or cutting fingers off.  Quarter million people fall off ladders you know? Nearly half of those people end up getting some kind of remedial building work being done after they stuff it up”.  He leaned forward and looked at me straight in the eyes.  “I want to sell you those materials” he said pointing at the timber, “but anything more serious than a fence, you should get a pro to do it”. 
He turned back and started punching the keys on the register, “look after yourself” he said without looking at me. 

I got the job done.  I didn’t want to tell him the reason I got the nail gun was because I tried to do the job with a hammer and had given myself tennis elbow.  So if I wasn’t going to use a builder to do a simple fence, then why would I expect a car park owner to seek professional help as well?

Read the Article in 'Parking Today' Here ........

These thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New 'Work in Parking Worldwide' Group created.


A new group has been created on the Linkedin platform.  It's called Work in Parking Worldwide.

The aim of the group is to provide a place where all of those people interested in working in parking or those who have parking related vacancies, can put these posts up in one place. 

Parking is a specialised field and it needs to have a place of its own for specialists to go and for those who are not specialists to review the current trends and vacancies in parking related employment.

Kevin Warwood

Check out the Work in Parking Worldwide Group Here

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lord Kelvin said ...........

Lord Kelvin said, "If you can not measure it, you can not improve it."  I must congratulate the New Plymouth City Council for taking a pragmatic approach to parking in the city and not falling into the trap of putting plasters on the symptoms.  Measure what you have happening first, then make some changes.

New Plymouth City Council has a simple parking operation that is combined with the enforcement wing of the activity.  Some cities have strayed into the area of thinking their parking operation, is the enforcement wing.  Not so.  The parking operation comes first (however it has been designed or not!), then the enforcement of the parking operation must occur.  Enforcement supports operations.

So it is important to understand exactly what is going on out there by monitoring the signals form on-street, off-street, public, private and institutional parking.  In this case, it seems that the time restriction may in fact prove to be too short to suit the businesses in that neighbourhood, but they wouldn’t have known that if they hadn’t taken time to collect the data correct and then see what the flavour of the feedback from the public looked like, to the enforcement of the old rules.  Bear in mind, this is just technology making the existing rules more accurate.

With the sensor technology, they can now review the average length of stay and the turnover of customers.  This will start to build a picture, in each neighbourhood, of the requirements of each business area or precinct, and that may be to amend the current time restrictions.  Remember the purpose of parking is primarily to support and facilitate economic activity and growth.  This means that access to the city for retail, leisure, well-being and commercial activities, must be optimised, or just the right amount of cars in just the right amount of spaces.

One method of doing this is to divide the city into zones large enough to affect the main parking load or driver in the area, and then create parking time restrictions (or prices) that will suit and be synchronous with the activities in the area.  What may happen is that the retailers will want longer time restrictions until they get to the point where the volume of customers falls through a lack of turnover in the car parks, then they will want the time restrictions smaller until their customers can’t stay long enough to make big purchases.  It’s a balancing act the Council is trying to achieve, but with the collection of accurate data, they will be able to start somewhere and then move in the right direction.

New Plymouth City Council will get a bit of stick as they go through the process of collecting the data and then making the improvements that will ensure the local businesses will be supported, but the improvements will help support the activities of the local area.  To close with a pun, Lord Kelvin would be interested in the work being done to measure the temperature of car park use here.

Kevin Warwood

These views are my own.