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Thousands sign new petition calling for free parking for NHS staff


More than 17,400 people have signed a petition set up by a healthcare assistant calling for free parking for NHS staff.

The e-petition 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 nursing assistant Abigail Smith who said she launched the campaign because she felt frontline staff should not have to pay to park at work.

“The parking prices are extortionately high as many car parks are now owned and operated by private companies and many nurses, carers and other frontline staff are suffering,” she said.

“I started this petition because NHS workers shouldn’t have to pay for parking in order to save lives”

Abigail Smith

The petition – set up on the government’s official site for e-petitions – runs until June next year. If the petition collects more than 100,000 signatures by then the issue will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

Ms Smith said she did not have to pay for parking herself, as she used a moped to get to work. “It doesn’t affect me but I’m putting everything I have into it,” she said.

“I started this petition because NHS workers shouldn’t have to pay for parking in order to save lives,” she added.

A Department of Health spokesman said parking policies were for individual trusts to decide.

“We know that nurses are working hard to care for their patients, however decisions on the cost of car parking for staff are set locally by individual trusts,” he told Nursing Times.

“We encourage then to take the needs of visitors and staff into consideration when setting their charges,” he added.

Nursing Times campaigned on the issue of parking charges in 2008-09. Our Free Parking campaign called on trusts to drop “unfair” charges for staff.



Should NHS staff ever have to pay to park at work?

We’re going to be debating this question on twitter at 1pm on Wednesday 9 July.

To join in,search for #NTtwitchat and include this hashtag in all your tweets



Readers' comments (10)

  • What a brilliant and simple idea!

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  • Well done To Abigail for starting this (paricularly as she dosnt even need parking herself) as Im also infuriated by this. I travel long distances for work and the extra £8.00 daily for parking really aggravates me !
    Im a nurse and so earn more than a HCA but the fact that they are charged also is awful.
    I shall inform everyone re this petition.
    Visitors should not be charged either as they dont usually go to hospitals for fun !!

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  • No disrespect to any one disabled but why do they not have to pay. Yes they are provided with dedicated parking spaces nearer the main entrances to most hospitals but why not pay even a nominal charge???
    I don't agree with charging anyone who has to visit hospital as the time committed to their visit often works out expensive especially when you can spend 10 minutes in a queue to pay on you way out often taking you into another £1.70 or more per hour period.
    If staff are given free spaces you can bet your bottom dollar the number of spaces will be even more restricted than they are already so next to no-one will get a parking space. It is a no win situation.

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  • In Sheffield workers who do no have to work shift, or who supposedly have children, or who supposedly have to look after their elderly parents are given priority over nurses who have to start work at 7 a.m and who finish at 9.30 p.m or later if the ward is busy. Bet those higher up have reserved parking.

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  • Our trust kindly based several district nurse teams at the local hospital and then charges them to park there. Nice to have a job where you have to have a car then be expected to pay when you are at base. They said it was because all staff have to pay and it wouldn't be fair. So much fairer then if no one pays. I shall sign immediately.

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  • Anonymous, Sorry to disappoint you but we do have to pay at the same rate as our non-disabled colleagues. I am a disabled staff nurse working in Merseyside and we have no non paying staff other than chief exec etc. The only " Perk" we get are some designated spaces in the same car park as all other staff which are in the middle of it, further away than half the staff have to park!

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  • Why are the employers on the top salaries spared paying for parking charges? Having said that, once upon a time we didn't have to pay at all - remember? I seem to also remember, certainly in my Trust, charges boosted their income, but now the parking has been handed over to an external organisation, so what is the point? We were promised a proper parking surface when the changeover was made. That hasn't happened, on a dry day there is hardcore dust everywhere, and on a wet day, it's sludge.

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  • It is outrageous charging staff to park at their place of work when they are providing an essential service, and there is usually nowhere else to park. With the shift patterns that are operated it is often impossible to use public transport to get home, particularly when shifts overrun and you are expected to stay. I am a community nurse so have to provide my own vehicle to do my job - for which the current reimbursement rate is derisory. We do have free parking at the moment but it is gradually being reduced as the offices are let out to more tenants. Because we have to be in and out all day, any parking slot we do manage to secure is usually gone by the time we return to the office. It is like trying to do your job with your hands tied behind your back. It is soul destroying and smashes any motivation you may have about the job. the trouble with the NHS is that it wants our labour for the least possible cost and will not hesitate to screw us in any way possible. I think nurses should take group action - say set up a protest by simply refusing to pay for a parking ticket,and refusing to pay any fines the hospital may impose. If you all refuse,they can hardly sack you all or take you all to Court. Well done Abigail for taking a stand, you have my full respect and I have signed the petition.

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  • I wonder how many other companies charge their staff to park, and expect them to work unsocial hours making the use of a car for safety desirable.

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  • I think we should pay for parking. Why should we get it free if the public have to pay. Any way it is for piece of mind knowing your car is safe from vandals etc.

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