Parking charges hitting United Kingdom patients and visitors
According to a survey of NHS, more than one in four hospital trusts have increased car parking charges in UK. In England some hospitals have raised charges by up to 200 per cent, with patients and their families and friends paying up to £3.50 an hour. Since the Government scrapped plans to abolish the controversial fees, hospitals have drastically increased parking charges. Hospital parking – which is free for most people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – earns the NHS more than £100million a year. It is hitting patients and visitors with 10,330 parking fines, generating £142,000 in penalty income.
UK trusts have exploited the opportunity to increase rates by as much as 150 per cent in the past few weeks, forcing patients to pay as much as £2.50 an hour. Bishop Auckland Hospital in Durham has increased the charge for a two-hour stay from £1 to £2.50, a rise of 150 per cent. According to UK government it was abandoning Labor’s pledge to end parking charges within three years, claiming the measure would be ‘too expensive’. Campaigners urged hospitals to follow government guidelines offering concessions to patients with long term illnesses, including cancer and condemned the ‘scandalous’ rises as a ‘tax on the sick.
Figures revealed that 28 per cent of trusts surveyed increased their average hourly parking charge for patients and visitors from last year and only 17 per cent reduced it. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust charges £2.50 an hour on average, with an hour’s stay costing £3.50. Labor promised to ban the charges by 2013, bringing England in line with Scotland and Wales, where hospital patients and their relatives park for free, but the Coalition has now abandoned the plan last year. Health Minister Simon Burns stated that No one should be paying extortionate amounts to park in an NHS car park. Get easy cash with the help of instant cash loans @ http://www.instantcashloansuk.co.uk/ and meet all your increasing expenses.
In 2011 Epsom and St Helier NHS trust in Surrey made almost £2million profit from car parks. While overall trusts rake in more than £110million a year from the charges, with some earning well over a million a year. Protestors in UK stated that the charges are particularly unfair on cancer patients, who make an average of 53 hospital visits a year, paying £325 in parking charges. However on the other hand hospitals claim that the money is necessary to run car parks and that without it they would have to divert cash from front-line services for patients.
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