Parking charges for NHS staff at hospitals have been hiked by £90 a year.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff will be out of pocket to the tune of around £1,000 a year on average if they drive to work.
NHS staff did not have to pay to park at work during the pandemic but the charges have now been reinstated, reports The Mirror, and the cost to park has gone up by more than £90 in a year.
Staff do not pay to park in Wales or Scotland.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “We think it’s an appalling decision. The timing of it is even more insulting, especially during the cost of living crisis.
“The Government has no understanding of what the NHS is facing. We’re two years through a pandemic which is not over. Staff are absolutely exhausted and this is just another thing to discourage them from staying in the NHS. We’re seeing an exodus.”
Nurse Iain Wilson, who pays £8 a day to park at a London hospital, said: “We are still working flat-out for patients day and night. It feels spiteful to be made to pay money to the car park landlords again – and if we don’t pay correctly, get repeated fines and court threats.”
In England, 72 trusts charge for parking – down from 159 in 2019/20. NHS data shows the average hourly rates for parking rose from 19p an hour to 23p – an extra £90.34 for nurses on four 12-hour shifts.
Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust raised £904,000 from staff parking in one year – the most of any NHS Trust. Staff there pay up to £840 a year, but it can cost £1,300 at other trusts.
Dr John Puntis, co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public, said: “This is an example of how the slow march of privatisation and the drive for hospitals to be more like businesses has made them less sensitive to needs of patients, visitors and staff.”
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