The cost of parking in hospitals in England for NHS staff has risen by £90 a year, according to reports. The Mirror says doctors, nurses and other staff will now pay around £1,000 a year to park at work.
Paid parking for NHS staff in England was suspended during the pandemic but has now been reinstated. Staff do not pay to park in Wales or Scotland. GMB National Agent Rachel Harrison said: “We think this is an appalling decision. The timing is even more insulting, especially during the cost of living crisis.
“The government has no idea what the NHS is facing. We are two years away through a pandemic that is not over. The staff are absolutely burnt out and that’s just another thing to discourage them from staying in the NHS. We are witnessing an exodus.
Nurse Iain Wilson, who pays £8 a day to park at a London hospital, said: ‘We are still working very hard for patients day and night. It’s mean to be forced to pay money to parking owners again – and if we don’t pay properly we get repeated fines and threats of justice.
In England, 72 trusts charge for parking, up from 159 in 2019/20. NHS data shows average hourly parking charges have fallen from 19 pence an hour to 23 pence – an extra £90.34 for nurses over four 12-hour shifts.
Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust has raised £904,000 from staff parking in a year – the most of any NHS Trust. Staff there pay up to £840 a year, but it can cost £1,300 in other trusts.
Dr John Puntis, co-chairman of Keep Our NHS Public, said: ‘This is an example of how the slow pace of privatization and the desire for hospitals to be more like businesses has made them less responsive to patient needs , visitors and staff. .”
The Department of Health and Social Care said it cost £130m to cover parking costs over two years.