Harlow MP launches petition against car parking charges in hospitals

News / Thu 7th Jun 2018 am30 08:38am

TODAY (Thursday June 7th), Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, launched a petition to bring an end to car parking charges at NHS hospitals in England. This is part of Robert’s ongoing campaign to scrap this stealth tax on the most vulnerable.

These parking charges are the bane of people’s lives, no one goes to hospital out of choice, they go because they must – and hardworking NHS staff provide vital support to our public services.

In 2014, through his own research, Robert found that some hospitals were charging patients, visitors and staff up to £500 per week to park. As a result of Robert’s campaign, the Government introduced guidance with the aim of limiting the effects of the charges on the most vulnerable.

Despite Government guidelines being introduced in 2014, 47% of hospitals have increased hourly parking charges and almost half on hospitals offer no concessions for disabled drivers.

Major charities, Headway and CLIC Sargent, FairFuelUK and MPs from across the House are backing Robert’s campaign. The Government will respond to the petition if it is signed by 10,000 people. If it gains 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Robert Halfon said: “It’s time the Government stepped up and ended this stealth tax on the sick.

I am incredibly pleased to have launched this petition alongside FairFuelUK, Headway and CLIC Sargent. I have no doubt it will garner the support necessary to bring the issue back to Parliament – and urge the Government to listen to the thousands of people across the country and MPs from across the House and scrap these unfair fees.

Ultimately, we cannot say that the NHS is free at the point of access if drivers are charged to attend appointments or visit relatives – and it is appalling that hardworking NHS nurses, porters and cleaners are charged to go to work.

The Government’s 2014 guidance is clearly being ignored by trusts. This petition will urge the Government to listen to the thousands of people across the country and scrap hospital parking charges, once and for all.”

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5 Comments for Harlow MP launches petition against car parking charges in hospitals:

2018-06-07 11:10:59

Tinkerman's at it again, tinkering around the edges while ignoring the real issue. Bob Halfon is the sort of bloke that would turn up to the scene of an earthquake with a dustpan and brush then call The Sun to give him an interview about how he's saving the world. The Conservative Party lit the fire of privatisation in our health service, and here is Bob complaining that it's hot. The hypocrisy is so vast that it's almost admirable.

2018-06-08 09:08:41

PFI, or had you forgotten?

Brett Hawksbee
2018-06-08 12:36:18

More Halfon grandstanding. Ill thought out, headline grabbing nonsense. Many hospitals, (and PAH is one) are sited close to areas of commerce ... town centres, for example. Where parking IS charged for. Is the hospital expected to employ staff to invigilate some system which ensures that those parking on the site have genuine business at the hospital? That would leave the NHS is a worse situation than at present, where they at least receive an income from the car park operators. There are several solutions which would actually work: One would be for the Hospital itself to manage the parking. Any number of 'intelligent' parking systems could permit all staff and patients to park free, charging only patient visitors, and then only a reasonable amount. Another would be to allow only Community Interest Companies, or NHS owned companies, to operate a franchised system, which returned all profits to the NHS. Many people do object to parking fees. But given that they are there, in the main, to receive treatment, I believe that it is the knowledge that the bulk of their spend on parking is going to a private operator which rankles most. Personally, as a patient or a visitor, so long as fees were reasonable and profits were helping the hospital, (and therefore indirectly all of us) I would not have a problem. I would have a far greater problem with not being able to find a space when I need treatment, because the free car park was full of shoppers.

2018-06-09 09:16:35

PFI was a mistake. The Tory Party have opposed the NHS since before its inception, so their crocodile tears over anything to do with the health service should insult anyone with the slightest modicum of intelligence. Even Tory grandee Michael Portillo said after the 2010 election that if they'd revealed their plans for the NHS before the vote, they'd never have been elected.

2018-06-10 06:31:24

Can't be bothered to comment. Trolls re-united are back.

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