MP calls for free hospital parking

MP calls for free hospital parking

MP calls for free hospital parking

First published in News

AN MP is part of a crusade to scrap hospital parking charges, calling thema“stealth tax on the poor and vulnerable”.

Stephen Metcalfe, who represents south Basildon and east Thurrock, hit out at what he calls unfair and unfathomable charges.

A bill to abolish hospital charges for visitors and patients is currently going through Parliament and will be discussed again in March next year.

Mr Metcalfe wants to get to the bottom of where the money goes.

He said: “The national average for one day’s parking is just over £7.

“One hospital in Bristol charges £12 for four hours and another in Crawley demands £25 a day.

“The charges are also not transparent. No one knows what the money is spent on, or why hospitals increase the charges year after year.

“For those who say car parking charges are vital income for hospitals, they need to answer why 25 per cent of hospitals charge nothing at all, and why there is such variation between not only regions, but even neighbouring hospitals.

“It is clear that with fewer bureaucrats, and extending the use of generic drugs where possible, NHS hospitals would have enough money to scrap these fees without affecting patient care.

“This stealth tax must go and hospital bosses need to stop using vulnerable patients as easy revenue”

He added that cancer patients, who often have no choice but to use a car, are particularly badly affected as many are not offered discounts.

Mr Metcalfe also spoke about some staff being charged up to £200 a month to park their cars.

Basildon Hospital does not charge for the first 30 minutes and then charges £3 for up to eight hours, £6 for eight to 12 hours and £10 for more than 12.

It says the payments go towards the 1,600 space car park, which cost £8million, and the maintenance of that and its other car parks.

It does offer free parking for some patients, including those with long-term conditions.

It is also offered to parents of a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, or children’s ward receiving regular treatment.

Southend Hospital recently upped its parking charges by 50p to £3 for visitors staying three hours. It then costs £6 for visitors staying six to 12 hours and £10 for those staying 24 hours. 

Comments (19)

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2:08pm Tue 19 Aug 14

AuldGit says...

And it should also be free parking for frontline hospital staff.
And it should also be free parking for frontline hospital staff. AuldGit
  • Score: -1

2:12pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Jack222 says...

NO! Free parking means no-one would ever leave so no parking would exist after early morning. Nothing wrong with sensible parking charges - a bit more money for the hospital and it encourages people to leave so others can park.
NO! Free parking means no-one would ever leave so no parking would exist after early morning. Nothing wrong with sensible parking charges - a bit more money for the hospital and it encourages people to leave so others can park. Jack222
  • Score: 6

2:12pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget?
There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.
So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget? There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 5

2:25pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Dan_ says...

Keptquiettillnow wrote:
So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget?
There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.
In an Ideal world; we have all paid for the NHS once already via taxes? So why do we effectively pay for it again when we turn up to park? I think you're highlighting a bigger problem - whether they can actually afford to run a hospital without extra parking fees is of course debatable.
[quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget? There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.[/p][/quote]In an Ideal world; we have all paid for the NHS once already via taxes? So why do we effectively pay for it again when we turn up to park? I think you're highlighting a bigger problem - whether they can actually afford to run a hospital without extra parking fees is of course debatable. Dan_
  • Score: 5

2:33pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Nebs says...

Dan_ wrote:
Keptquiettillnow wrote:
So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget?
There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.
In an Ideal world; we have all paid for the NHS once already via taxes? So why do we effectively pay for it again when we turn up to park? I think you're highlighting a bigger problem - whether they can actually afford to run a hospital without extra parking fees is of course debatable.
And a third time we we got to collect a prescription.
And a fourth time when we visit the dentist.
And a fifth time when we visit the optician.
[quote][p][bold]Dan_[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget? There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.[/p][/quote]In an Ideal world; we have all paid for the NHS once already via taxes? So why do we effectively pay for it again when we turn up to park? I think you're highlighting a bigger problem - whether they can actually afford to run a hospital without extra parking fees is of course debatable.[/p][/quote]And a third time we we got to collect a prescription. And a fourth time when we visit the dentist. And a fifth time when we visit the optician. Nebs
  • Score: 4

2:51pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Dan_ says...

Dan_ wrote:
Keptquiettillnow wrote:
So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget?
There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.
In an Ideal world; we have all paid for the NHS once already via taxes? So why do we effectively pay for it again when we turn up to park? I think you're highlighting a bigger problem - whether they can actually afford to run a hospital without extra parking fees is of course debatable.
Just been looking at some key facts and figures. it's really hard on the face of it to make a judgement about whether the NHS is 'value for money' for me. Budget for 2013/14 is £109bn. Serving 64million people (£1700 per head per year). However, the NHS supposedly deals with 1million people every 36 hours. So they are dealing with 243 million people/visits a year? That's the equivalent of everyone who lives in the UK visiting 4 times each per year on average. I don't have a point necessarily. Just highlighting what a mine field it must be trying to keep the belt tight on such a mammoth operation.
[quote][p][bold]Dan_[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: So maintaining the grounds and car parks will have to come from what budget? There is no such thing as 'Free Parking'. Someone has to pay for it.[/p][/quote]In an Ideal world; we have all paid for the NHS once already via taxes? So why do we effectively pay for it again when we turn up to park? I think you're highlighting a bigger problem - whether they can actually afford to run a hospital without extra parking fees is of course debatable.[/p][/quote]Just been looking at some key facts and figures. it's really hard on the face of it to make a judgement about whether the NHS is 'value for money' for me. Budget for 2013/14 is £109bn. Serving 64million people (£1700 per head per year). However, the NHS supposedly deals with 1million people every 36 hours. So they are dealing with 243 million people/visits a year? That's the equivalent of everyone who lives in the UK visiting 4 times each per year on average. I don't have a point necessarily. Just highlighting what a mine field it must be trying to keep the belt tight on such a mammoth operation. Dan_
  • Score: 5

3:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

VeteranOfMany says...

The hospitals need to revert back to stricter visiting times, and if anything increase the charges, which will free up more spaces, also they should bring an enforcement firm in, like LBS to deal with any non-payers.
The hospitals need to revert back to stricter visiting times, and if anything increase the charges, which will free up more spaces, also they should bring an enforcement firm in, like LBS to deal with any non-payers. VeteranOfMany
  • Score: -3

4:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

3 hours FREE parking, then charge a reasonable amount for more time if needed just to deter the few that might abuse it.
3 hours FREE parking, then charge a reasonable amount for more time if needed just to deter the few that might abuse it. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 3

4:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

billybloggs says...

must be getting near election time he's actually doing something for Basildon.not really its the government he's jumping on the bandwagon has usual
must be getting near election time he's actually doing something for Basildon.not really its the government he's jumping on the bandwagon has usual billybloggs
  • Score: 6

4:04pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

VeteranOfMany wrote:
The hospitals need to revert back to stricter visiting times, and if anything increase the charges, which will free up more spaces, also they should bring an enforcement firm in, like LBS to deal with any non-payers.
LBS, a blast from the past.
[quote][p][bold]VeteranOfMany[/bold] wrote: The hospitals need to revert back to stricter visiting times, and if anything increase the charges, which will free up more spaces, also they should bring an enforcement firm in, like LBS to deal with any non-payers.[/p][/quote]LBS, a blast from the past. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 2

4:22pm Tue 19 Aug 14

TheWizzard says...

As for the stealth tax on the poor and vulnerable, didn't he vote to cut the benefits of those in social housing and he received a few thousand from Japanese tobacco
As for the stealth tax on the poor and vulnerable, didn't he vote to cut the benefits of those in social housing and he received a few thousand from Japanese tobacco TheWizzard
  • Score: 1

6:26pm Tue 19 Aug 14

runwellian says...

If a charge has to be made, it should be hourly, not three hourly.
Half hour free parking is a joke, it takes you that long to park the car and walk the miles of corridors to a department, let alone sit and wait whilst clinics run late ... perhaps that is deliberate too.

they ban parking in side roads because the lazy residents think they own the space outside their home ... which they don't, and forces folk to use the car park.

Now they are talking about charges to use A&E or see a GP, I wonder when they will get round to charge us for breathing air?

I don't use hospital car parks on principle, how did hospitals manage before they started robbing patients.

Make the charges hourly, perhaps £1 per hour, that would be fairer and get rind of all the road permits for residents, if patients can park and walk, then so can they!
If a charge has to be made, it should be hourly, not three hourly. Half hour free parking is a joke, it takes you that long to park the car and walk the miles of corridors to a department, let alone sit and wait whilst clinics run late ... perhaps that is deliberate too. they ban parking in side roads because the lazy residents think they own the space outside their home ... which they don't, and forces folk to use the car park. Now they are talking about charges to use A&E or see a GP, I wonder when they will get round to charge us for breathing air? I don't use hospital car parks on principle, how did hospitals manage before they started robbing patients. Make the charges hourly, perhaps £1 per hour, that would be fairer and get rind of all the road permits for residents, if patients can park and walk, then so can they! runwellian
  • Score: 1

7:45pm Tue 19 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
3 hours FREE parking, then charge a reasonable amount for more time if needed just to deter the few that might abuse it.
P1SS OFF
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: 3 hours FREE parking, then charge a reasonable amount for more time if needed just to deter the few that might abuse it.[/p][/quote]P1SS OFF sesibollox
  • Score: -3

8:07pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

sesibollox wrote:
Robin Reliant wrote:
3 hours FREE parking, then charge a reasonable amount for more time if needed just to deter the few that might abuse it.
P1SS OFF
Mind ya Language sillybollix.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: 3 hours FREE parking, then charge a reasonable amount for more time if needed just to deter the few that might abuse it.[/p][/quote]P1SS OFF[/p][/quote]Mind ya Language sillybollix. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 1

8:09pm Tue 19 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
VeteranOfMany wrote:
The hospitals need to revert back to stricter visiting times, and if anything increase the charges, which will free up more spaces, also they should bring an enforcement firm in, like LBS to deal with any non-payers.
LBS, a blast from the past.
Fear is an amazing tool...
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VeteranOfMany[/bold] wrote: The hospitals need to revert back to stricter visiting times, and if anything increase the charges, which will free up more spaces, also they should bring an enforcement firm in, like LBS to deal with any non-payers.[/p][/quote]LBS, a blast from the past.[/p][/quote]Fear is an amazing tool... sesibollox
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Steve H says...

Parking always used to be free, then commuters/town centre staff realised this and left their cars there all day taking up much needed spaces.

It isn't fair to charge by the hour as you don't know how long you will be, I was once parked at Basildon Hospital for 18 hours.

Make it like 10p pay and display between 2pm and 3pm, that'll deter the all day parkers.

However, any ticket issued on private land isn't worth the paper it is written on.

Those who were against and got clamping banned have a lot to answer for.
Parking always used to be free, then commuters/town centre staff realised this and left their cars there all day taking up much needed spaces. It isn't fair to charge by the hour as you don't know how long you will be, I was once parked at Basildon Hospital for 18 hours. Make it like 10p pay and display between 2pm and 3pm, that'll deter the all day parkers. However, any ticket issued on private land isn't worth the paper it is written on. Those who were against and got clamping banned have a lot to answer for. Steve H
  • Score: 0

11:02pm Tue 19 Aug 14

SummerSadness says...

Parking should be free for staff.
Why should I have to pay to go to work.
Parking should be free for staff. Why should I have to pay to go to work. SummerSadness
  • Score: -5

9:50am Wed 20 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

SummerSadness wrote:
Parking should be free for staff.
Why should I have to pay to go to work.
Walk and stay fit
[quote][p][bold]SummerSadness[/bold] wrote: Parking should be free for staff. Why should I have to pay to go to work.[/p][/quote]Walk and stay fit sesibollox
  • Score: 5

10:02pm Wed 20 Aug 14

ThisYear says...

Steve H wrote:
Parking always used to be free, then commuters/town centre staff realised this and left their cars there all day taking up much needed spaces.

It isn't fair to charge by the hour as you don't know how long you will be, I was once parked at Basildon Hospital for 18 hours.

Make it like 10p pay and display between 2pm and 3pm, that'll deter the all day parkers.

However, any ticket issued on private land isn't worth the paper it is written on.

Those who were against and got clamping banned have a lot to answer for.
"I was once parked at Basildon Hospital for 18 hours"

The lobotomy ward?
[quote][p][bold]Steve H[/bold] wrote: Parking always used to be free, then commuters/town centre staff realised this and left their cars there all day taking up much needed spaces. It isn't fair to charge by the hour as you don't know how long you will be, I was once parked at Basildon Hospital for 18 hours. Make it like 10p pay and display between 2pm and 3pm, that'll deter the all day parkers. However, any ticket issued on private land isn't worth the paper it is written on. Those who were against and got clamping banned have a lot to answer for.[/p][/quote]"I was once parked at Basildon Hospital for 18 hours" The lobotomy ward? ThisYear
  • Score: 2

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