MP backs end to parking rip-off

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has called  for hospital parking charges to be scrapped

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has called for hospital parking charges to be scrapped

First published in News by

NORTH Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has backed a campaign to abolish the hefty parking charges in place in England’s hospitals.

Mr Tomlinson is one of more than 100 MPs to have joined the Stop The Hospital Car Parking Rip-Off campaign, which aims to find ways to make parking free in England’s hospitals, lifting a financial burden off patients and families’ shoulders.

Parking at hospitals in Scotland and Wales is already free.

While the standard hour fee at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon is £1 per hour, the South West has the second highest rates in the country, before concessions are taken into account, with several hospitals charging up to £3.40 an hour.

Across the region as a whole, the average is £6.74 per hour, which is second highest behind the East Midlands.

Swindon Advertiser: Justin Tomlinson MP for Swindon North

“In Scotland and Wales, people don’t pay hospital parking charges and I have long believed that we should all be treated equally in particular where families are visiting patients who need long-term hospital treatment,” said Mr Tomlinson, pictured above.

“100,000 patients have signed the national petition already. It can be particularly expensive for the families of people in long-term care over a long period of time. Parking is cheaper in Swindon and that’s a real credit to the Great Western Hospital but it still can add up.”

It would cost an estimated £200m to scrap hospital parking fees.

He added: “Ideally, as the economy continues to grow, I would like to see free hospital parking as a priority. Additional funding would need to be provided by the Government to replace any lost income to the hospitals.”

75% of hospitals in England still charge for parking and staff and visitors can pay as much as £12 for four hours. According to the campaign, some hospitals are charging patients and their visitors up to £500 a month to park their car on-site.

For many, public transport is not possible, for example because they live in rural communities, or due to their health conditions.

NHS staff are also suffering from expensive parking fees.

A Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust spokesman said: “We recognise hospital parking is a contentious issue for many people. At GWH we have not increased our patient parking charges for at least five years. “Money people pay for parking goes back into the day to day maintenance of the hospital car parks including lighting, signage, security and staffing. It is also used for larger improvements to car parking such as the recent expansion of our staff car park to free up more space for patients and visitors in the main car parks.

“If parking charges are abolished, without funding we would still need to find the money to provide parking; this would mean the money would have to come from frontline services and staffing, ultimately impacting on our patients.”

Comments (12)

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10:10am Wed 3 Sep 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Patients get free healthcare!
It costs the Hospital to manage, maintain and repair the car park, it is sensible to expect patients and visitors to pay for this facility, they do not have to pay if they use public transport or get dropped off
It would be criminal to divert public money originally funding life saving treatments to pay for car park charges because some patients are too selfish or lazy!
Patients get free healthcare! It costs the Hospital to manage, maintain and repair the car park, it is sensible to expect patients and visitors to pay for this facility, they do not have to pay if they use public transport or get dropped off It would be criminal to divert public money originally funding life saving treatments to pay for car park charges because some patients are too selfish or lazy! A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 16

10:50am Wed 3 Sep 14

Oldtownmum says...

More spaces are needed while they're at it. It's ridiculous to be circling around when you've got an appointment to get to. It's also hard for the community staff who need to get back to the hospital between visits. They were banned from having a multi-storey car park because of silly 'green' rules. MPs should push for a rethink in that area too.
More spaces are needed while they're at it. It's ridiculous to be circling around when you've got an appointment to get to. It's also hard for the community staff who need to get back to the hospital between visits. They were banned from having a multi-storey car park because of silly 'green' rules. MPs should push for a rethink in that area too. Oldtownmum
  • Score: 12

1:03pm Wed 3 Sep 14

adsinibiza says...

The issue of staff parking charges also needs to be addressed. Frankly it is shameful that the NHS charges members of staff to park it car parks that it owns - in thirty plus years working they are the only organisation that I have ever come across to do so - and at GWH it is not cheap either. This practice needs to be stopped
The issue of staff parking charges also needs to be addressed. Frankly it is shameful that the NHS charges members of staff to park it car parks that it owns - in thirty plus years working they are the only organisation that I have ever come across to do so - and at GWH it is not cheap either. This practice needs to be stopped adsinibiza
  • Score: 14

1:10pm Wed 3 Sep 14

clevoways says...

Hospital car parks should be free, paying for parking is like a back door tax, we pay national insurance and tax to pay for the NHS, there's a lot a family Struggle to pay these prices especially when visiting a love one or a family member in hospital for a life saving operation.
Hospital car parks should be free, paying for parking is like a back door tax, we pay national insurance and tax to pay for the NHS, there's a lot a family Struggle to pay these prices especially when visiting a love one or a family member in hospital for a life saving operation. clevoways
  • Score: -11

1:22pm Wed 3 Sep 14

house on the hill says...

Sorry but I get really annoyed when people moan about this sort of thing. We are spending tens if not hundreds of £billions every year on people with self inflicted illnesses, injuries and disabilities. The NHS is not a bottomless there to endlessly pick up the pieces of peoples lifestyle choices. There is only a set amount of money available and we need to be far more responsible about how it is used for those who really need it.

And to all those who say "i have paid my tax and NI so I deserve this that and the other", there are millions out there who haven't paid anywhere near the costs of their treatment and that is covered by those who have also paid are are more responsible about their own health.

I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves.
Sorry but I get really annoyed when people moan about this sort of thing. We are spending tens if not hundreds of £billions every year on people with self inflicted illnesses, injuries and disabilities. The NHS is not a bottomless there to endlessly pick up the pieces of peoples lifestyle choices. There is only a set amount of money available and we need to be far more responsible about how it is used for those who really need it. And to all those who say "i have paid my tax and NI so I deserve this that and the other", there are millions out there who haven't paid anywhere near the costs of their treatment and that is covered by those who have also paid are are more responsible about their own health. I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves. house on the hill
  • Score: 4

6:34pm Wed 3 Sep 14

beach1e says...

I wonder how many people complaining claim benefits that they arent entitled to,cant be bothered to work, choose to not pay the tax they should do .We live in a society that thrives on sponging off the state without making the connection that if you choose to opt out of being a reasonable tax paying citizen then you only have yourself to blame when public services dont have money
I wonder how many people complaining claim benefits that they arent entitled to,cant be bothered to work, choose to not pay the tax they should do .We live in a society that thrives on sponging off the state without making the connection that if you choose to opt out of being a reasonable tax paying citizen then you only have yourself to blame when public services dont have money beach1e
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Phantom Poster says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
Patients get free healthcare!
It costs the Hospital to manage, maintain and repair the car park, it is sensible to expect patients and visitors to pay for this facility, they do not have to pay if they use public transport or get dropped off
It would be criminal to divert public money originally funding life saving treatments to pay for car park charges because some patients are too selfish or lazy!
How do we get free healthcare? I've paid way more tax/national-insuran
ce that I've ever got from the NHS.

The main problem with the GWH is not the parking charges, but the politically correct council who were involved in its built who had the green ideology that if you don't provide enough parking spaces then it will force people to use public transport. Fair enough if it was in the town centre, which it's not. I've had to pick up a friend who works there because the bus to town stops just after her shift has ended.

How are PATIENTS too selfish or lazy? You really are an obnoxious fool!
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: Patients get free healthcare! It costs the Hospital to manage, maintain and repair the car park, it is sensible to expect patients and visitors to pay for this facility, they do not have to pay if they use public transport or get dropped off It would be criminal to divert public money originally funding life saving treatments to pay for car park charges because some patients are too selfish or lazy![/p][/quote]How do we get free healthcare? I've paid way more tax/national-insuran ce that I've ever got from the NHS. The main problem with the GWH is not the parking charges, but the politically correct council who were involved in its built who had the green ideology that if you don't provide enough parking spaces then it will force people to use public transport. Fair enough if it was in the town centre, which it's not. I've had to pick up a friend who works there because the bus to town stops just after her shift has ended. How are PATIENTS too selfish or lazy? You really are an obnoxious fool! Phantom Poster
  • Score: 5

9:10pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Phantom Poster says...

house on the hill wrote:
Sorry but I get really annoyed when people moan about this sort of thing. We are spending tens if not hundreds of £billions every year on people with self inflicted illnesses, injuries and disabilities. The NHS is not a bottomless there to endlessly pick up the pieces of peoples lifestyle choices. There is only a set amount of money available and we need to be far more responsible about how it is used for those who really need it.

And to all those who say "i have paid my tax and NI so I deserve this that and the other", there are millions out there who haven't paid anywhere near the costs of their treatment and that is covered by those who have also paid are are more responsible about their own health.

I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves.
People who smoke and drink pay an enormous amount of tax compared to those who don't. They also statistically die younger - so they are actually beneficial to the NHS coffers.

The real problem is old non-drinking (you've previously shown your aversion to such activity) people such as you. You are the ones who will live on and cost society thousand per month to keep you in your care home once the value of your house has been depleted.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Sorry but I get really annoyed when people moan about this sort of thing. We are spending tens if not hundreds of £billions every year on people with self inflicted illnesses, injuries and disabilities. The NHS is not a bottomless there to endlessly pick up the pieces of peoples lifestyle choices. There is only a set amount of money available and we need to be far more responsible about how it is used for those who really need it. And to all those who say "i have paid my tax and NI so I deserve this that and the other", there are millions out there who haven't paid anywhere near the costs of their treatment and that is covered by those who have also paid are are more responsible about their own health. I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves.[/p][/quote]People who smoke and drink pay an enormous amount of tax compared to those who don't. They also statistically die younger - so they are actually beneficial to the NHS coffers. The real problem is old non-drinking (you've previously shown your aversion to such activity) people such as you. You are the ones who will live on and cost society thousand per month to keep you in your care home once the value of your house has been depleted. Phantom Poster
  • Score: 1

9:26pm Wed 3 Sep 14

faatmaan says...

to her credit Edwina currie stated on tv that some of these car parks pay for the top heavy wages of the top people in the PCT trust , and if they withdrew these charges they would be hard pressed to survive financially, as most hospitals fail to run within guidelines the top wages are unjustified.
to her credit Edwina currie stated on tv that some of these car parks pay for the top heavy wages of the top people in the PCT trust , and if they withdrew these charges they would be hard pressed to survive financially, as most hospitals fail to run within guidelines the top wages are unjustified. faatmaan
  • Score: 0

10:56pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Phantom Poster says...

house on the hill wrote:
Sorry but I get really annoyed when people moan about this sort of thing. We are spending tens if not hundreds of £billions every year on people with self inflicted illnesses, injuries and disabilities. The NHS is not a bottomless there to endlessly pick up the pieces of peoples lifestyle choices. There is only a set amount of money available and we need to be far more responsible about how it is used for those who really need it.

And to all those who say "i have paid my tax and NI so I deserve this that and the other", there are millions out there who haven't paid anywhere near the costs of their treatment and that is covered by those who have also paid are are more responsible about their own health.

I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves.
You say:

"I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves."

Have you actually read your own post? So you claim that people who disagree with you prove your point?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Sorry but I get really annoyed when people moan about this sort of thing. We are spending tens if not hundreds of £billions every year on people with self inflicted illnesses, injuries and disabilities. The NHS is not a bottomless there to endlessly pick up the pieces of peoples lifestyle choices. There is only a set amount of money available and we need to be far more responsible about how it is used for those who really need it. And to all those who say "i have paid my tax and NI so I deserve this that and the other", there are millions out there who haven't paid anywhere near the costs of their treatment and that is covered by those who have also paid are are more responsible about their own health. I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves.[/p][/quote]You say: "I am sure that will attract negative thumbs but all that does is prove my point that far to many just don't care about anyone than themselves." Have you actually read your own post? So you claim that people who disagree with you prove your point? Phantom Poster
  • Score: 2

8:22am Thu 4 Sep 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
Patients get free healthcare!
It costs the Hospital to manage, maintain and repair the car park, it is sensible to expect patients and visitors to pay for this facility, they do not have to pay if they use public transport or get dropped off
It would be criminal to divert public money originally funding life saving treatments to pay for car park charges because some patients are too selfish or lazy!
How do we get free healthcare? I've paid way more tax/national-insuran

ce that I've ever got from the NHS.

The main problem with the GWH is not the parking charges, but the politically correct council who were involved in its built who had the green ideology that if you don't provide enough parking spaces then it will force people to use public transport. Fair enough if it was in the town centre, which it's not. I've had to pick up a friend who works there because the bus to town stops just after her shift has ended.

How are PATIENTS too selfish or lazy? You really are an obnoxious fool!
I used the GWH car park for a week 6H+/day, I think it cost me around £30. If you compare this price with the price I have pay to park my car at Heathrown business parking, when I travel for work, this is peanuts!
If you are too poor to pay £2 to park your car, then you should not be on the roads!
In the end, what is £2 or £30 or even £1000's in travel costS when you get life saving treatment and or get to support a loved one at a difficult time.
Yes I am obnoxious but my conscience is clear, I know my prioriites and I am grateful for what we get as a family and taxpayers, Do you?
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: Patients get free healthcare! It costs the Hospital to manage, maintain and repair the car park, it is sensible to expect patients and visitors to pay for this facility, they do not have to pay if they use public transport or get dropped off It would be criminal to divert public money originally funding life saving treatments to pay for car park charges because some patients are too selfish or lazy![/p][/quote]How do we get free healthcare? I've paid way more tax/national-insuran ce that I've ever got from the NHS. The main problem with the GWH is not the parking charges, but the politically correct council who were involved in its built who had the green ideology that if you don't provide enough parking spaces then it will force people to use public transport. Fair enough if it was in the town centre, which it's not. I've had to pick up a friend who works there because the bus to town stops just after her shift has ended. How are PATIENTS too selfish or lazy? You really are an obnoxious fool![/p][/quote]I used the GWH car park for a week 6H+/day, I think it cost me around £30. If you compare this price with the price I have pay to park my car at Heathrown business parking, when I travel for work, this is peanuts! If you are too poor to pay £2 to park your car, then you should not be on the roads! In the end, what is £2 or £30 or even £1000's in travel costS when you get life saving treatment and or get to support a loved one at a difficult time. Yes I am obnoxious but my conscience is clear, I know my prioriites and I am grateful for what we get as a family and taxpayers, Do you? A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -1

2:02pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Wellfire says...

My wife was a patient in GWH shortly after it opened and I visited her there every day for just over 2 weeks. It was a nightmare to find a parking space but the shortage was caused, in part at least, by town centre workers using the hospital car park as a Park and Ride. At that time it was far cheaper than town centre parking. I saw them myself getting off the bus and heading straight for their cars. I hope any solution does not encourage these selfish types to return.
My wife was a patient in GWH shortly after it opened and I visited her there every day for just over 2 weeks. It was a nightmare to find a parking space but the shortage was caused, in part at least, by town centre workers using the hospital car park as a Park and Ride. At that time it was far cheaper than town centre parking. I saw them myself getting off the bus and heading straight for their cars. I hope any solution does not encourage these selfish types to return. Wellfire
  • Score: 2

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