Nurses believe that car parking charges should be abolished across the whole of the UK, according to the results of an NT survey.
The survey marks the launch this week of a new NT campaign called ‘Free Parking, clamp down on unfair charges for nurses’.
The campaign, which will run over the next three months, calls on the government and NHS in England and Northern Ireland to follow the examples set by Scotland and Wales and abolish car parking charges for nurses.
Of 1,782 nurses who responded to the online survey, 94% said nurses working in England and Northern Ireland should be exempt from paying car parking fees, and 91% said it is unfair that charges are to be scrapped in Wales and Scotland only.
One respondent said: ‘I find this insulting. ‘Are we in some way lesser professionals because we decide to work in England? And they wonder why so many nurses leave England to find work elsewhere.’
The results of the survey reveal that car parking charges are a serious financial burden for some nurses, with one in five spending up to£50 a month on parking charges.
Some are spending£8 a day because they are not even entitled to a parking permit and are forced to use the same car park as patients and the public.
Shift patterns and the distance nurses live from work mean that the majority of them have no choice but to use their cars - more than 90% of survey respondents said it was simply not practical for them to use public transport to travel to and from work.
‘I live 22 miles away and getting various trains and buses to work would take two hours each way and cost a fortune,’ said one respondent.
‘Plus I wouldn’t feel safe on public transport at two in the morning when I finish work, or on the 40-minute walk from the train station to my house.’