Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital sees 37% patient rise

The JR Image copyright PA
Image caption Parking at the hospital takes up to an hour and has been widely criticised

The number of patients treated at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital increased 37% over 10 years while the number of parking spaces stayed the same, the BBC can reveal.

Oxford University Hospitals trust said 491,622 patients were treated in 2007 compared with 673,884 last year. Non-staff parking spaces remained at 730.

The hospital advises visitors leave an hour to park.

It said in a statement it was aware of the difficulties.

The number of staff members has increased from 10,773 to 12,676 over the same period, while the number of staff parking spaces has remained at 1,601.

Carried son due to traffic jam

Oxfordshire's NHS bosses have proposed moving further services to the John Radcliffe from the Horton General in Banbury, but a trust spokesman said about 90,000 diagnostic, outpatient and day-care appointments per year could move in the other direction, reducing parking problems.

The situation has been criticised by both the city and county councils, while the BBC has been told the situation has led to missed appointments and, in one case, an operation was cancelled.

One mother said she had been forced to carry her wheezing four-year-old son - later diagnosed with pneumonia - to the accident and emergency department after traffic jams meant they could not drive on to the site.

The data came from a Freedom of Information request to the trust and includes inpatients, outpatients and emergency department attendances.

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Media captionBBC South Today reporter Katharine Da Costa tries to park at John Radcliffe Hospital

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis said she was concerned about parking at the hospital and had raised it with health bosses.

She added: "With the future of services at the Horton under threat, it is very worrying that parking at the JR has not been adjusted to meet an increase in demand."

The trust said it has been working on a "masterplan" to tackle the "access and parking problems".

It added: "We are hoping to have some initial broad concepts for wider discussion in the early part of 2017.

"For the time being, we do encourage both staff and visitors to make use of alternative transport options including local park and ride services."

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said: "The concentration of facilities at the John Radcliffe is only likely to increase rather than decrease."

We asked for your ideas on how to solve the parking issues at the hospital. Then we asked you tell us which one we should look into further.

The ranking has now closed and the most popular idea was: "Build multi-storey car parks."

We will now investigate this idea and publish our findings on the BBC News Oxford section of the website.

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