Blue badge holders will have to pay to park at hospital sites in east Kent from next month.
From Monday 24 April, Blue Badge holders will be asked to pay a set fee of £2 a day.
East Kent Hospitals’ director of strategic development and capital planning, Liz Shutler, said: “Currently, we allocate 19 per cent of our parking bays for ‘Blue Badge’ holders, who may be disabled, or care for someone who is disabled. People with a Blue Badge can currently park in those allocated spaces for free.
“Over recent years, we’ve done all we can to keep the status quo and avoid imposing charges that are applied at other Kent and Medway hospital trusts.
“But the financial pressures that the NHS is facing means that we now have reluctantly decided to introduce modest charges, with a concession, for Blue Badge holders using our car parks.
“Blue Badge holders will only have to pay a flat fee of £2 per day so they do not have to pre-estimate how much parking to buy on arrival or worry about their ticket expiring.
“And those with a Blue Badge can benefit from other concessions, particularly if they have to attend one of our hospitals on a regular basis as there will be an option to purchase a 14-day ticket for just £6.
“These changes will be introduced on 24 April and we will be advising car park users accordingly. Signage will give a clear indication of the changes, minimising any disruption for car park users.”