Daily Express - - NEWS - PETER McCABE Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Head­way the brain in­jury as­so­ci­a­tion

ON the face of it Kerry’s story is heart­break­ing. When some­one re­quires ur­gent hos­pi­tal care the cost of park­ing should never be­come a bar­rier or hin­drance.

Brain in­jury often strikes with­out warn­ing and the ef­fects can be life-threat­en­ing.

When this hap­pens fam­i­lies are anx­ious to be close to their loved ones, be­cause they may have dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions to make.

Ev­ery day our Emer­gency Fund hears from des­per­ate fam­i­lies strug­gling to meet the costs of hos­pi­tal park­ing.

If the per­son with the brain in­jury is self-em­ployed, then a fam­ily’s in­come can be sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected or even come to a halt.

Re­cently, we sup­ported a fam­ily who had spent more than £1,500 in park­ing charges in just 15 weeks. They needed to be at the bed­side of their son who was fight­ing for his life.

What par­ent wouldn’t want to be there, day and night?


We also sup­ported a woman whose part­ner was left in a coma af­ter a trau­matic brain in­jury in a quad bike ac­ci­dent.

She was driv­ing 80 miles a day and spend­ing £29 each visit on park­ing, sim­ply to be there for her part­ner.

Due to the com­plex nature of brain in­jury, there are often no de­fin­i­tive timescales of re­cov­ery. How can peo­ple be ex­pected to bud­get when they don’t know how long their life will be put on hold?

In an­other case, a woman was in such fi­nan­cial prob­lems we con­tacted a lo­cal church to see if she could use its car park.

These charges are driv­ing al­ready hard-pressed fam­i­lies into debt and de­spair at a time when they al­ready have more than enough to cope with.

We com­pletely un­der­stand how much fi­nan­cial pres­sure the NHS is un­der. So it is time for the Gov­ern­ment to pro­vide hos­pi­tals with the nec­es­sary re­sources to put an end to this stealth tax on the sick.

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