Kidney disease patient charged £400 for hospital parking
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