Kid­ney dis­ease pa­tient charged £400 for hos­pi­tal park­ing

Daily Express - - News - By Martin Bagot

DES­PER­ATELY ill pa­tients will be forced to pay hun­dreds of pounds a year to at­tend hos­pi­tal after ex­emp­tion park­ing per­mits were scrapped.

Dial­y­sis pa­tient Jim Ah­erne now has to pay £400 a year to park his car at least three times a week for vi­tal treat­ment at Royal Pre­ston Hos­pi­tal.

The car park was taken over by pri­vate firm Park­ing Eye last month and has started charg­ing can­cer suf­fer­ers and rel­a­tives of se­ri­ously ill chil­dren. Pre­vi­ously they parked free as did vis­i­tors of long-stay pa­tients.

The news comes after the Daily Ex­press launched a cam­paign to end rip-off NHS hos­pi­tal park­ing charges which have been dubbed a “tax on sick­ness”. Mr Ah­erne, 68, a for­mer care home main­te­nance worker, has or­gan fail­ure after suf­fer­ing from kid­ney dis­ease. He has had dial­y­sis for three hours at a time at the hos­pi­tal for 10 years. “It’s just di­a­bol­i­cal what they are do­ing,” he said. “I’ve had a per­mit for 10 years. I’ve got to find an­other £400 that I don’t have to go to hos­pi­tal.”

The free per­mits were re­placed with “con­ces­sions” rate of £2.50 a visit. This is only avail­able for vis­i­tors of “gravely ill” pa­tients with a high risk of dy­ing. Other pa­tients and vis­i­tors must pay the stan­dard park­ing rate of £2.50 an hour, £5.50 for up to four hours and up to £10 for more than eight hours.

Karen Part­ing­ton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Lan­cashire Teach­ing Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, said: “This new con­ces­sions pol­icy means a much more eq­ui­table ap­proach for peo­ple who are reg­u­larly at­tend­ing or vis­it­ing for long pe­ri­ods of time.”

Royal Pre­ston Hos­pi­tal

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