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.