Disabled pay for parking at 16 hospitals
AT least 16 Midlands hospitals are charging patients and visitors to use disabled parking spaces.
Details were published by the NHS as part of an annual report on hospital estates.
Charges have continued, even though Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged hospitals to end “unfair parking charges”.
The report, on the NHS Digital website, names hospitals charging for disabled parking.
Justin Madders, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, said: “It is a disgrace that Jeremy Hunt has done nothing to tackle parking charges for disabled people.
“Disabled people often have no choice but to drive to hospital, and it’s wrong to target them with parking fees.”
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“The truth is that hospitals are being forced to introduce or increase parking charges because they are desperately short of cash,” said Mr Madders.
“This Government has caused a financial crisis in the NHS, and disabled people are paying the price.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Patients and families should not have to deal with the added stress of complex and unfair parking charges. NHS organisations are locally responsible for the methods used to charge, and we want to see them coming up with flexible options that put patients and their families first.”
The list of hospitals charging patients and visitors for using disabled parking spaces includes Solihull Hospital and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.