NHS parking charges

  TopCat® 15:24 03 Mar 08
Locked

Most people at some time during their lifetime have to pay a visit or two to a hospital. Many more unfortunately require frequent visits for continuing treatment for certain illnesses. Having to pay quite high parking fees during these visits can, for many, be quite prohibitive, especially in rural areas where public transport tends to be quite sparse.

For patients themselves, I think the practise of supplying vouchers for free parking, as already happens at some London hospitals, is a very nice and thoughtful consideration and I hope every other NHS Trust in England will soon follow suit. For the inpatients' visitors, then I think a small parking charge is not too much to ask. What's your views on this - can you see these charges ending as in Wales? TC.

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  Cymro. 15:35 03 Mar 08

As someone who lives in Wales and makes a lot of use of the NHS I have a particular interest in this issue.

I am glad that the charge for parking is to be done away with, but as with everything else you don`t get anything for nothing in this world and so the money will have to be made up from some other source.

We also have free prescriptions in Wales. All well and good but please remember that waiting times for some surgery is already longer in Wales than it is in England.

The NHS in wales like everywhere else needs every penny it can lay it`s hands on but prescription charges and car parking charges can be said to be a tax on the ill and so something to be got rid of A.S.A.P.

  Pine Man 15:36 03 Mar 08

I think the real issue is not so much that car parking is charged for in hospitals but that it is the level of the charges that causes so many complaints.

If car parking is free, then by it's very nature it becomes unrestricted and uncontrolled. If the hospital is close to a shopping or business centre then the likelihood is that people will park their cars there throughout the working day and hospital visitors will not get a look in.

That brings you back to the need for controls on the amount of time people park there, which then has to be enforced.

It is not beyond the wit of man to work out how much the enforcement and maintenance of the car park costs and set charges at a level sufficient to cover those costs. Special needs cases can be dealt with by concessionary vouchers.

  Cymro. 15:44 03 Mar 08

"If the hospital is close to a shopping or business center then the likelihood is that people will park their cars there throughout the working day and hospital visitors will not get a look in."

This was a big problem the large district general hospital that we use.

We must also remember the needs of the staff working in these places as many of them are among the lowest paid workers in our community For them to have to pay parking charges is to put a tax on the low paid.

  Ancient Learner 16:08 03 Mar 08

Where we are, it is usually impossible to get into the Hospital car parks as they are full.
We have to park on nearby streets, much to the understandable annoyance of the residents, and it it very very difficult when you are disabled'
It means that I have to be taken to the hospital for appointments, and then my poor wife has to wait for a phone call to come and collect me; whereas with adequate parking I could take myself.
Public transport is a long way from the Hospital and a Taxi is the only real alternative, unless you want to make use of the ambulance service and don't mind being collected from home 2 hours before the appointment and then waiting for the same time to get back home.

  Joe R 16:26 03 Mar 08

Just after seeing a part of the news there, and the SNP in Scotland has stated that the NHS trusts will be limited to a £3 per day charge, for parking.

I have a cousin who works as a nurse in Gartnavel Hospital, in Glasgow, who is currently paying £12 per day in parking fees, which to my mind is a disgrace.

  Cymro. 16:30 03 Mar 08

"I have a cousin who works as a nurse in Gartnavel Hospital, in Glasgow, who is currently paying £12 per day in parking fees, which to my mind is a disgrace."

You`r telling me it`s a disgrace. High time it was sorted out for the staff at that particular hospital.

  Pine Man 16:30 03 Mar 08

'For them to have to pay parking charges is to put a tax on the low paid.'

Sustainable transport policies attempt to get people out of their vehicles, where possible, and start using alternative means of transport.

'This was a big problem the large district general hospital that we use.'

A common occurrence. I used to work in traffic management and it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to control parking without incurring significant costs. Someone must pay for this or does it come out of the bottomless pit that is already paying for your prescriptions?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:33 03 Mar 08

1. Car park is required
2. It needs to be built and maintained, that costs.
3. Charges need to be levied to cover above costs so cost DO NOT come from NHS TRUST budget for health services
4. Staff should be able to park for free
5. Parking Fees need to be at a reasonable level to suit the needs of patients [majority will be possibly elderly (on pension) infirm / chronic (on benefits)]
6. Parking needs to be monitored to prevent abuse by non patients.

My local Hospital Car Park charges £2-50 for 2 hrs and £1 for every extra hour on top (never yet got in and out of an appointment in less than 2 hrs ) :0)

Just before Christmas wife was advised by NHS help line to drive me to Hospital as it would be quicker than waiting for ambulance.
21 hours later she went back to the car.
Of course in the rush she had not taken enough money with her.
Had to get relatives to bring some money before she could get the car released.
All added to the strees of the time. :o(

  BT 16:54 03 Mar 08

Our hospital also charges. The minimum is £2 with a rising cost the longer you stay. If you are attending as a patient you get your ticket validated at the desk in the department you are attending and only have to pay the £2 however long you have been there.
They alsio have a 30 minute 'Pick up' zone at the front of the building at no charge.

  Pine Man 17:04 03 Mar 08

Sounds like others could learn from this sensible attitude, though I suppose there are still those that complain?

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