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Hospital parking charges attacked

Parking costs at NHS hospitals have risen by as much as 150% since the summer, according to the Sunday Mirror.

A survey by the newspaper shows that the parking prices have continued to climb despite hospitals making £102 million in 2009.

Coalition ministers scrapped plans to end car parking fees in September, after Labour had promised to make it free for seriously ill and regular outpatients to leave their vehicle unattended over the next three years.

But the coalition says removing the parking fees would strip NHS coffers at a time when savings are needed.

Health charities and patients’ groups have been left unimpressed by the move and attacked the pressure it puts on sick people and their relatives.

Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said: “It’s opportunistic of NHS trusts to raise their car parking fees now. Patients don’t need further stress having to worry about parking meters. It’s an unfair tax on the sick.”

Meanwhile, Helen Rainbow, of Macmillian Cancer Support, blasted: “It’s those who need help most who suffer.”

An example of some of the price increases witnessed in the research are: a two-hour stay at Bishop Auckland Hospital in Co Durham rising from £1 to £2.50; a three-hour visit to Watford General in Herts costing £3.50, up from £3; two-hour stays at Darlington Memorial Hospital increased from £1.50 to £2.50; and Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, saw prices for all-day parking rise from £3.50 to £5.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said that it is up to individual hospital trusts to decide on how much they charge.

 

Readers' comments (10)

  • And that's just the patients. . . Where I work the parking charges for staff went up 50% in April of this year, and we have to park off site and walk !!!!!!

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  • Where I used to work we had to pay £50 per month for our permit if we were even entiltled to one in the first place.
    I think it's disgusting that we should have to pay to park at our place of work. I understand they want to be 'green' but how exactly do you get 16miles home after midnight when you live out in the sticks??

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  • Charges at our hospital have gone up from £2.70 to £8 for 4 hours or more. Daylight robbery. Staff who cannot get parking permits now have to pay £40 per week for the privilege of going to work. And as for relatives of the sick, visiting every day, poor people could end up forking out £50 or more a week. Utterly disgraceful.

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  • This is simply a Tory Tax on the sick. Disgraceful!

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  • Absolutely correct Anonymous, it is disgraceful, it is also disgusting and abnoxious.But it is only a continuance of the New Labour policy to impose taxes on the sick, their carers, Uncle Tom Cobley and the Nation as a whole.

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  • Why cant they make it a flat charge of a £1 a car if they have to charge anything.
    Staff should get free parking especailly as they want to freeze pay. We work unsocial hours and it is impossible to car share as we all finish at different times. It is there early hours of the morning on occasions when no public transport is available.

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  • I pay for my parking directly from my salary & have a permit on display. I parked in a public bay 3 weeks ago as there were no staff spaces available & I was late for a meeting. I paid £2, returned to my car 4 hours later & had a ticket. I paid £40 to EXCEL parking, but they've sent me a demand for a further £60 as I was one day over the deadline. If I don't pay they'll take me to court. A total of £100 for the pleasure of attending work. Seems a little unfair and excessive.

    All nurses take note!!!! I've investigated this & have discovered that they would never carry through their threats as a small claims court would throw it out & they have no legal power to send in the baliffs (another little chestnut on the letter!) All the advice I've had is to ignore all threats & phone calls. They will give up eventually.

    I'm absolutely sick of being battered at work.

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  • Just read anonymous 09:27. Tory tax on the sick??? Whatever are you talking about!! These private parking companies were brought in under a labour government who have bled this country dry of all its assets. Don't you understand that we are broke? I truely believe that we haven't been told half of the mess they've left in their wake. It's plainly ridiculous to blame an incoming government...each Trust decides locally what they want to do about parking & charging. A Trust in the Midlands abandoned parking charges just a couple of months ago.

    Anyway

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  • I attended an outpatients appointment a couple of weeks ago, but the doctor forgot to turn up and we were all sent home. I requested a £4.00 refund of the parking fee, they looked pretty miffed, but gave it to me. It wasn't about the £4.00, it was totally the principle.

    I agree a £1 flat rate or even £2 over 2 hours but the charges for staff and patients are unacceptable.

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  • Money making scams always hit the motorists.
    Some of the charges, I have been reading above, are just scandalous.
    A high proportion of patients and their visitors will be pensioners, so to them these charges are a fortune.
    As for staff, especially we nurses, having to pay such exhorbitant amounts for the pleasure of working your socks off...why dont you all rise up, threaten mass resignation (no hospital could sustain that) unless parking charges are abolished or reduced to a nominal amount...

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