10 signatures reached
To: Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt Minister of Health MP
N.H.S HOSPITAL CAR PARKING CHARGES
Remove all parking charges at N.H.S. Hospitals.
There is many people complaining about these charges.
1. The N.H.S is supposed to be free at the point of delivery and there are many people who have to travel to hospitals as there are no hospitals in the Town or village where they live.
2. There are different charges at different hospitals which causes confusion. e.g. Disable drivers can park free of charge at Sunderland whilst they have to pay at Peterlee.
3. The costs vary from hospital to hospital as do the number of hours they charged for.
4. The parking meters at some hospitals do not accept notes or give change
5. People, visiting friends or relatives who are extremely ill, are suffering from too much stress and these parking charges and fines do not help them in their time of worry, stress and concern for their loved ones.
6. These fines are totally disproportionate for the level of offence when compared to other much more serious crimes and offences. These offenders often receive much more lenient punishments.
Why is this important?
This issue was brought up at my local Patient Practice Group of which I am Chairman. There were quite a number of instances reported by the committee who support this action unanimously.
The following are two of my own experiences.
1. In December, 2017 I took my sister-in-law to Sunderland Hospital. She was unable to walk and there was no ambulance available. I parked at the accident & emergency and with my wife I got her out of the car and into a wheelchair. My wife pushed her into the hospital whilst I reversed my cat into a disabled parking bay. several days later I received a £70 fine Parking notice
2. In February 2018 i took my wife for a scan to North tees Hospital. After I dropped her off I parked my car and went to the parking meter. Unlike Sunderland their was a fee chargeable for disabled drivers. The first 20 minutes parking was free but after that there was a charge which if not paid was subject to a £90 fine. It is impossible to be able to assess that my wife would be able to receive her treatment within 20 minutes. I decided to pay for the parking. The cost was £3 for the first hour as well as for the next 11 hours. As it happened my wife did not have to wait and she had her scan and returned to the car. We were parked for exactly 26 minutes. I had paid the 12 hour fee for 6 minutes. I also was inconvenienced as I had no change and the meter did not take notes or give change. I had to go back into the hospital for change for the parking meter.