What are your views on hospital car park charging?

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Do you have to pay to park in your local hospital when you attend appointments or visit a friend or relative?

A patients’ group branded the fees a “tax on the sick” and called for NHS parking to be free, as in most of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Prices shown taken from a Macmillan Cancer Support Survey

Prices shown taken from a Macmillan Cancer Support Survey

Open Quotes I was going back and forth to hospital taking my mother for tests and I would have to keep running out and topping up the meter. When you are going through such a huge ordeal, this is the last thing you want to think about but money ends up being your biggest worry, adding unnecessary stress.  Close Quotes

Is it right to charge people to park when visiting a hospital?

678 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Philip PM
29th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
While hospital car parking charges are an unfortunate necessity, there is good reason for this. Having worked in the NHS for over 30 years, it was my experience in several hospitals that car parks were inappropriately used by people who were not visiting as either patients or relatives, but were simply looking for a free daytime dumping place for their cars, while they on to their places of work.

This situation arose in many city hospitals where the city council had introduced its own meters or other car charging mechanisms, so wasn't such a great problem on rural hospital sites. An associated problem, of course, is the volume of parking given over to staff vehicles, often apparently at the expense of patients and visitors. No easy answer to this one, both groups have reasonable claims, but giving priority to visitors for shorter parking times might seem stronger than to all day parkers.

Some hospitals have experimented with off-site staff parking with the use of ferry buses to bring staff in.
SovereignInventory
17th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
Hi all, just an update on my ongoing refusal to pay excessive charges on my hospital parking. I sent the relevant company ParkingEye a cheque for the exact fee of £3.00 plus an extra £3.00 for them to give to charity. I also made complaint to the DVLA that they had broken the Data Protection Act by giving this private company my details. No response yet from ParkingEye but DVLA have stated that they are within their rights to give this company my personal details as they are on an 'approved' list - surprise, surprise ! I'm taking this further with the ICO. Will keep you posted.
P.Pig
17th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
Of course you should pay to use the facility but if a patient on regular treatment/appointments ie radiotherapy etc you should claim concessionary price.
Likewise any person making regular long term visits should be eligible for the same concession.
If a charge is not imposed the facility will be abused by local work force,shoppers etc.
JaneyW
13th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Everyone visiting hospital for whatever reason should have to pay for parking in hospital car parks. However, it should be a reasonable hourly fee, payable on exit so people are only paying for the time they were actually parked. To have to buy a ticket on entry is so unrealistic because you never know how long appointments are going to take and having to clock watch only adds to the anxiousness. If patients have regular appointments for specific ongoing treatment, they should be eligible for special rates.
Peter
11th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
If they charged a low fixed fee and not by the hour with checks that those parking are only using the hospitalI I don't think many would have a problem - its the inflated hourly charges and profiteering from those that have no choice but to be there that stink.
donperignon
10th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
Before car parking charges were introduced at a local hospital car park, it was difficult, if not impossible to find a parking space because people working at a local office complex would park there because it was free, and parking on the office complex site was limited.
But since the Hospital has started charging to use the car park, these office workers have had to find somewhere else to park, and now the hospital user can find somewhere to park on the hospital site.
catwitch
9th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
I think it's disgusting that anybody should have to pay to park in a hospital car park when visiting the hospital for any reason. There is nothing guaranteed to be more flustering than being seen late for an appointment, knowing that the parking time has almost expired and there is no way of extending the time. Usually a hospital visit isn't for fun and is something that most of us would avoid if possible. Add to these things the extortionate cost for something which is by it's very nature, unavoidable, I feel that the matter should be dealt with with all possible urgency by the powers that be.
knightrider
8th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
You pay to park and yet they dont accept responsibililty if something happens to your vehicle. Joke that aint funny
SovereignInventory
5th Dec 2014
6
Thanks for voting!
I have just received a parking ticket from a private company who 'manage' our local hospital's car parking. I have not paid it as they are a private company & their extortionate fees will go to their profits - I have told them I will only pay the fee for the time I was at the car park. I have also made formal complaint to the DVLA as they have given my personal details to this company and I believe them to be in contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Archiebald
5th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I think you are absolutely right. Our local train station carpark has just been taken over by a private company (Dorking) and up to now its been fine. Not enough spaces so everyone considerately parks so nobody is blocked in. Now they are issuing scores of tickets everyday to anyone not exactly parked or who has not got a space. BUT they are happy to let them buy the tickets. I got fined the other day £35 wrote a stinking letter of complaint and just got a standard reply-"read the T&Cs...yes of course I will when I am dashing for a train! ???
superbius
5th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Well said Sovereign, i agree with u wholeheartedly, the thieving swines are only out to cheat the poor motorist as usual. Hope u get through with minimal fuss and beat em.
SovereignInventory
5th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I hope so, however I can see a prolongued fight coming on. I am really willing to go to court on this one - I tried to pay for my parking but the machine would not take a bank note (which is legal tender) and there was none of their staff about to advise or assist. I have offered to pay them the £3.00 parking fee plus a further £3.00 which they can donate to any charity of their choice - I will wait and see what they respond with.
superbius
5th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
May the best man win, and i hope it's u. You have been honest with them, and offered your payment. It annoys me intensely when people show no cause or concern to believe others when they r telling the truth. Take em to court and make em pay for their arrogance. Best of luck to u.
dizzymum
4th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
I understand that the car parks at our local hospital are managed by the local authority as the land is not owned by the hospital. Therefore the obey does not go to the hospital.
jaynemarie
4th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
I took my son,then 2 to A&E after a fall resulting in a big lump on his head. I parked in a bay by A&E and rushed him in. He was put on oxygen and we were transferred by ambulance to the children's hospital fitting. Needless to say my last worry was to get a pay and display ticket. My husband came straight out of work and went to get the car to drive to the other hospital only to find it had been ticketed and clamped! Fortunately the parking attendant was close by and after an explanation un clamped it. Unnecessary stress on a very stressful 24 hours!
Wilf
4th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
I think its crazy charging for hospital parking spaces. I have had to go a few times and can I find change? then maybe while you are delayed in the hospital you are worried you will get a ticket which cannot be right. Who will the monies go to? Not the hospitals I bet!
superbius
4th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
To be honest it is a well worn subject this 1.
Considering the current state of the NHS and it's lack of money, how does one help our dedicated nurses and doctors, and does the money from the car parking machines go the relevant hospital in which they r situated????.Hmmm.
I would like to think they do. I agree it should be the same country wide, but that is government for u.
Jo Kingham
4th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
It's just another form of taxation!!
pauline2299
4th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
We have to pay in our local hospital it is £2 per day and I have to pay and I work there !!
But you do not have to pay in Wales should be the same over the whole country
mick2e1hzm
4th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Why should we pay? we paid all our working life's for this, and the nurses who have not had a decent pay rise in years have to pay to go to work and park that's not right. The NHS trusts are run by suits who only think in £s
Elliesowner
4th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
A few years ago, I was admitted to hospital as an emergency. I phoned my husband at work, who dropped everything to be by my side. However, when he got to the hospital, he had no money to pay for the parking. He wrote a note explaining and put it on his windscreen. When he returned to the car 90 minutes later, he had a ticket with a £90 fine. It took weeks and a whole load of letters to get the parking company to drop the fine.
Most people who use hospital car parks are either ill, or visiting an ill person. They should not be charged at such a worrying time in their lives.
krmal
4th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
I think you should be able to park free of charge. My wife WORKS at our local hospital (Maidstone General) and even has to pay! She uses a separate staff parking area and benefits from a staff discount but I think it's wrong for anybody to have to pay in a hospital car park.
I was in hospital for 6 weeks last year and my partner was able to get a pass which worked out a little cheaper but not much, I don't think people should have to pay at all. It's not their fault if they are ill and have to be hospitalised. I can appreciate that the hospitals need the funds to maintain the grounds etc but why have we paid national insurance all our working lives ???
Jakki
4th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
If the charges were reasonable it wouldn't be so bad but £3 for the first hour!! (Royal Surrey hospital) It's outrageous exploitation just because you need to visit the hospital so really it's a captive market unless you can manage to park elsewhere & walk a long way back. When you're sick this isn't an option but possible if you're only visiting someone but still not ideal. Also to have to pay when you are over 4 hours in A&E with no idea how much long you'll be there, so you keep topping up the fee, it's just ridiculous. A fairer system needs to be implemented, or scrap the fees altogether to bring us in line with Scotland & Wales. (why they should be exempt is a real mystery) I could go on but fear I may have to visit the hospital with hight blood pressure if I do!!
Archiebald
4th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree with all you say Jakki. I have had the same situation myself a few times
Johigham
4th Dec 2014
5
Thanks for voting!
I am prepared to pay but a reasonable fee. At my hospital first 20 mins free! Takes you that long to get into hospital. Then £2.60. So if you are 30 mins you pay £2.60... I call that robbery.
Mirfain
4th Dec 2014
3
Thanks for voting!
My local hospital, Trafford General, has not charged for patient parking for the last couple of years now but some people probably staff still manage to clutter up every side street around the area and sometimes even the ambulances have had to make detours because of this inconsiderate parking.
Robbinn
4th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I used to do voluntary work at my local hospital and because of this had to sit through some very long and boring H&S meetings. Much of it was not of a lot of interest to me, but some things were. At one meeting the subject of car park charges was brought up and until this time, I was one of the people who complained about them.
It is my understanding that the hospital is given £xxx per year to cover everything including staffing, treatment, food, keeping everything up-to-date etc and the job of the person who oversees the budget is quite horrendous. Figures were put forward as to how much it cost the hospital to keep the car park in good repair and the figure was absolutely huge. And this huge figure comes off the budget for everything else, including treatment. Therefore they have people to come in and run the car park which covers the cost of upkeep and also makes the hospital not have to take this figure off their budget. I for one would rather have the hospital's money going towards my loved one's treatment rather than the up keep of a car park. There are very good bus services to the hospital and even the staff are regularly reminded to try and use them as car parking is limited at most hospitals.
In the same vein, there is talk of patients paying a small amount towards their food whilst in hospital which I think is quite a good thing. The catering budget for a hospital is enormous and a small contribution from a patient again would help direct the money the hospital receives towards treatment rather than catering.
The government is trying to pump money into hospitals to enable us to have more doctors, better treatments, etc so by paying for parking my car there, perhaps I am helping in a very small way.
HJR58
4th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
Worked in the NHS for 25 years - had to pay for pay for parking permit!
Archiebald
4th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
That is just plain wrong!
Mo Moor
17th Nov 2014
6
Thanks for voting!
I'm happy to pay a reasonable charge, provided the profit was being made by the hospital. However, I understand that's not the case, and Hospitals engage contractors to monitor and maintain the car parks. Apparently the hospitals are not set up to do this work, so some private company is called in. Thus, no doubt, the high charges.......commercial enterprises earning on the sick and their families!
Baxi
9th Nov 2014
6
Thanks for voting!
It's bad enough having to visit a loved one or friend when they are ill. Having to pay to do it is just adding insult to injury.
Rob60
7th Nov 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Car parks need to be attended and maintained. I'd rather my tax go to putting nurses in hospitals than maintaining a car park. If you NEED to use the carpark - pay for it, like you do anywhere else. Why should national tax go to stationing your car.
Archiebald
4th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I don't agree Rob60...why should I pay when I am sick?
Rob60
7th Dec 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
I thought I made my stance clear in the comment you are replying to, Archibald.

Maybe so the NHS can spend their tight funding on making you fit and well as apposed to making sure your car has a well attended pot hole free piece of tarmac to park on.

The NHS has to carefully manage a budget and spending it on free car parking is plain wrong, especially when certain treatments are unavailable due to lack of funding. Try to be pragmatic.

The sense of entitlement this nation seems to have for free parking truly shocks me.
Wistman
17th Nov 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
You're obviously not on a tight budget Rob60, probably drawing a big fat index linked pension while the rest of us have to continue to work on a zero hours contract and still try to visit our loved ones.
Rob60
17th Nov 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Quite the contrary, wistman. I use my government funded bus pass to visit loved ones who are receiving government funded health care. I'm very greatful for the facilities our great nation provides through mine and others tax money.

On the few occasions that I have HAD to park my car in hospital car parks (due to my back being to painful to take the bus) I have happily paid to use the well maintained facilities.

I'm gracious that the funding citizens provide has gone into the excellent ongoing care my back has received rather than stationing my car.

I don't know where your priorities lie, or where you think this endless pot of funding comes from.

Incidentally, judging by your comments here: http://www.silversurfers.com/speakers-corner/thin-current-obesity-crisis-handled/ you should take the payment as "Education and incentive" for taking the lazy option and expecting others to cover the cost.
Jo Kingham
7th Nov 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Lets face it no-one wants to go there! It's just another form of taxation.
Archiebald
6th Nov 2014
6
Thanks for voting!
I just don't think its right to charge the high rates hospitals do. Also sometimes in an emergency people do not have the right change! I have had this at Guildford Hospital

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