PEOPLE who receive care in their home and the carers who deliver that care are set to benefit from a new parking scheme being trialled by Cornwall Council from Monday, April 1.

The Healthcare Permit Scheme is being launched as part of Cornwall Council’s Positive Parking Framework. It will help Care Quality Commission accredited carers in Cornwall spend as much time as possible delivering vital care services to the person they care for.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “Carers have told us that being able to find a parking space close to the home of those they care for is sometimes a real issue for them. As they search for somewhere to legally park on the road, the time they have to spend with the person they are visiting is being eaten into. This new trial means that they can apply for a permit which will let them park on street for a limited time, even where there are single or double yellow lines.”

The new scheme is being introduced for a 12-month trial period and means that around 130 Care Quality Commission accredited care organisations can apply for the Health Care Permit on behalf of the 4,000 carers they employ.

Anyone who receives care should speak to the organisation that provides their care to see if their carers may be eligible to take part in the scheme.

The Healthcare Permit parking scheme will work in a similar way to the blue badge scheme for disabled people. Carers will be issued with a yellow badge which they will be able to place in their windscreen, set the time and then park for up to an hour in many places where they wouldn’t normally be allowed to park. Even with the Healthcare Permit, parking still won’t be allowed in loading bays or at bus stops or on zig zag lines outside of building like schools and hospitals. Specific parking bays such as those reserved for disabled drivers, doctors, taxis or residents are also not included in the scheme.

There is no charge for a Healthcare permit which will be vehicle-specific.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for adults, Rob Rotchell, said: “This is a very welcome initiative. At the moment, carers may be driving around looking for a space when they could be spending more time with the people they look after who rely on them for help with essential daily living tasks such as preparing meals and getting up and out of bed.”

Caroline Sommerville, registered operations manager for Bluebird Care Mid & West Cornwall, said: “This initiative will ensure that our teams are able to work more effectively and enable the people we support to achieve their outcomes”

The move also has the potential to save money for Council tax payers, the council said.

The Council currently spends £22 out of every £100 on providing adult social care. If some of a carer’s time is freed up, then there is the potential for them to visit and help more people.

The Healthcare Permit Scheme is being introduced as part of Cornwall Council’s Positive Parking Framework which is set to be a benchmark standard for local authorities who, like us, have aligned their parking policies and operations to the Positive Parking Agenda, a national initiative supported and assisted by the British Parking Association.

As well as the introduction of the Healthcare Permit scheme, the Positive Parking Framework plans include:

• Pay on Exit technology at twelve Cornwall Council car parks

• A review of the role of our Civil Enforcement Officers as better use of technology means that they will be freed up to visit more areas that are not currently frequently patrolled, to ensure that traffic congestion through illegal parking is reduced.

• Improved directional signage, contactless payment, discounts for residents and businesses, raising awareness of season tickets and other payment options.

• Mobile camera technology to help with more efficient enforcement or targeted enforcement around schools and colleges to support reductions in traffic congestion.

Find out more information on the Healthcare Permit Scheme and how to apply.