NHS staff will not have to pay hospital car parking charges during the coronavirus crisis, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said. The announcement came after mounting public pressure, with over 400,000 people signing a Change.org petition for the fees to be scrapped.
Anthony Gallagher, an NHS GP, set up the petition as a way of thanking NHS staff for their ‘‘bravery to step up in our nation’s hour of need.”
Responding to the news, Anthony said: “I am in no doubt that the Government did not begin this week intending to cover all parking charges for NHS staff. This is a massive success, thanks to all the hundreds of thousands of people who signed my change.org petition.
“I hope after this nightmare has passed, that the Government will still notice how NHS workers go above and beyond every day. It would not be reasonable, at that time, to give them all a pay-cut and reinstate parking charges. I am optimistic that the Government will do what is right and scrap these parking charges permanently.”
The Government said it would give immediate financial backing for all NHS trusts to provide free car parking to NHS staff for the duration of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Local Government Secretary has also agreed for local councils to offer free car parking to all NHS workers and social care staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time.
“So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.
“My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.
“We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle COVID-19.”
Hospital car parks fall under the remit of health trusts. The East Kent Hospitals Trust has waived charges at all sites including QEQM.
All staff will be able to park on the sites for free and staff with active permits will not be charged in April and May.
As the number of visitors attending the sites drops, the Trust will also look at how patient/visitor spaces can be used for staff to create further capacity during the daytime period in the weeks ahead.
Good move! I would prefer a Labour Government carrying out Labour policies but-at a pinch- I can accept a Tory government carrying them out.
Taking the railways back into public control? Another Labour policy.
Spending more to rebuild the NHS after a decade of austerity? Ditto.
Providing enhanced payments to cover people who find themselves without work? Well, the Tories struggle with that idea but they may be forced to provide proper Benefits if only to stop people going to work just to survive despite the epidemic.
My only fear is that, before the virus is really defeated , the government will announce “victory” and we will just be herded back to the miserable reality of austerity and having to pay for hospital parking again.
If they can suspend charges for now, why not abolish them altogether?
Profiteering on the sick is a lame thing but Labour hikes prices too you are also greedy profiteers.
But you don’t mind not charging SFP anything for years on Ramsgate seafront when you said yes to Painter properties profiteering with no show.. Sod off
Not before time, NHS staff should not have been charged in the first place!
Keefogs.The Prime Minister is not my best friend but is doing a fantastic job it’s a cross-party decision everybody working together so you can stop trying to score points thank God Jeremy is not running this country.
Yes I think NHS workers should have free parking all the time.
If you look back at his management of the Covid19 crisis it was herd immunity. The consequences of that is mass deaths. His voting population would be victims. He also looked at how the Medical science vigorously opposed this as did the rest of the world
His subsequent decisions weren’t based on altruism
Let’s not forget offshore leaks
Offshore leaks Grant Thornton
Pension pools.. Profiteering on people’s pension…. So
Everything should be free.
It’s all profit profit profit… Labour leader did not report child abuse case. Sums him up. Tories and police kiddie fiddle. Yet those who are mps get away with it. Shows their leadership.. Greens never had a chance to run the country. Lib dems are just as bad for child abuse cover ups. Yet, leadership says we will safe guard children… When you fiddle with them… And a bigger cover up is about to rock you all!
Perhaps Local Authorities might like to take a leaf out of the Governments Book.
All people who work in Pharmacies and care workers should be given the same facility issued through their employers.
Why are the health workers charged in the first place ?
Because for many years we’ve had capitalist governments (I include the most recent “New Labour” in that category). The objective is to make as much money for shareholders as possible, so you charge for whatever you can get away with.
Most hospitals are owned by foreign hedge funds, not the NHS.
They should never have introduced parking charges to all those who work or are using the hospital services. Anyone parking without a good reason could be charged though which helps keep them out. It is not fair or even appropriate for those coming for appointments or who work there to be charged a fee.
Hospitals used to be in the middle of town.
In the interests of “efficiency” and “patient care” they were sold off, the land sold to developers, and new hospitals built miles outside town. So you had to drive to get there.
Super! Build a huge carpark on the cheap land and charge everyone exorbitant prices.