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THE BIG QUESTION

The big question: should NHS staff pay to park at work?

A healthcare assistant has set up a petition calling for free parking for NHS staff.

The e-petition, which has been signed by more than 17,400 people, demands immediate action to end “disgraceful” parking charges for NHS workers and nurses in particular.

“Nurses are on our wards 12 hours a day and do not need the added stress of being charged for parking to do a job the whole country needs them to do,” it states.

The petition was started by HCA Abigail Smith who said she launched the campaign because she felt frontline staff should not have to pay to park at work.

Should staff pay to park at work? What do you think?

Readers' comments (12)

  • Other people working in both public and private sector do long working hours and have to pay for parking, so I fail to see why someone in the NHS should not do the same. However parking on site at an NHS facility or when using an employers park and ride system, should only attract a reasonable fee to park and not the inflated prices that visitors and patients have to pay to park at hospitals

    I pay for an annual permit to park at work but it doesn't guarantee a parking space will be available. It is not expensive though, working out at less than £1 a day!

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  • While it is true that every working person has to pay for parking if they use a car for transport, the matter of nurses and hospitals in general seems to fall into a slightly different category. It matters rather more if a hospital worker is late for work or a patient cannot attend an appointment. Consequently the present state of affairs where parking appears to be used as a fund raising activity is quite unacceptable. Given the geographical focus of a hospital, this seems to be an ideal opportunity for local authorities to practice what they preach and institute functional Park and Ride schemes to the benefit of both workers and the environment.

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  • In the area that I work it is not possible for all satff to even get a parking permit. These are sadly only available for use by "the great and the good" . Another point is that hospital car parks appear to be extremely expensive in this area. I for one cannot afford the rates that are being charged. It is an absolute joke that people who are ill and the lowly nursing staff who look after them are treated in this way. Well done for starting this e-petition!

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  • I agree with HCA Abigail. She is right that health care workers should not pay for parking it is disgraceful and greed by the hospitals to get money out of the health care staff and also patients.I am a retired nurse worked in the NHS and the private sector and never paid for parking. Good on you Abigail and carry on your good work.

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  • I do not mind paying a small fee for parking near my place of work, but I do not agree for paying to park when you are not guaranteed a space, and expected to either park on an industrial estate - and being told 'it should be ok to park there', or in an overflow car which is some distance and down the back of beyond - when you are expected to return late or in the dark to your car!!! Not on at all!!

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  • I don't think nursing staff should have to pay to park on site come on lets face it working for the nhs is pants we don't get any pay rises but our parking cost go up, we have to be at work for 7am or work till 9pm we are not guaranteed a space so we have to arrive some shifts about 1 hour before we start work to find a space.

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  • I agree that I would be happy to pay a reasonable daily fee if the money went into providing enough parking for all, instead of filling the pockets of contracted service providers. I am a nurse not an economist and don't understand how contracting out services is cheaper than keeping them in house???
    Well done Abigail :-)

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  • I was one of the 'lucky ones' to have been given a 1% pay rise this month, however our Trust has put parking up 10% in 2013 and another 10% in 2014. It was then announced in the press that this Trust made £2 million + in parking fees last year.

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  • Helena King

    If you are going to ask NHS staff to stay in the NHS and not default to private services where they get higher salaries, less stress and probably not having to train as many students then we must give staff incentives or risk losing our best practitioners and staff members. Free parking is hardly a lot to ask if you think of the £2000 extra someone may earn in the private sector for doing the same job.

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  • Susan Vaughan 16-July-2014

    We have to pay for parking and I don't know about anywhere else but at my trust you are not guaranteed a parking space, I strongly feel that this is not "fit for purpose" if it was anything else that you had to pay for and it did not work you would be entitled to your money back.
    Also if the hospitals owned the land and charged for parking and monies utilised for healthcare within that hospital surely the hospitals would be permanantly in the black.

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  • Parking is always a hot issue in my place of work. But because of our start time 0730am parking is rarely an issue but if you arrive after 0830am its almost impossible to find a space. I don't have a problem paying a nominal fee to park but find it frustrating when no spaces are available and you end up double parking. I work in a assesment and treatment unit with parking for aprox 12 cars but the public often park in them. I run the risk of being towed away for illegal parking outside my place of work because our spaces are not protected.

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  • Depends who we're talking about doesn't it? Consultants and upper management don't have to pay for parking, despite being the ones that can most easily afford it. GP's neither, and that's before you move onto the issues of protected spaces and availability of spaces.
    Won't change either until the power model changes.

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