Dis­abled pay for park­ing at 16 hos­pi­tals

Solihull News - - NEWS - JONATHAN WALKER jonathan. walker@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

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.”

Heart of Eng­land NHS Foun­da­tion Trust rakes in nearly £ 5 mil­lion from car park­ing charges

“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.

Soli­hull Hospi­tal

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