Hospital bosses told to slash cost of parking

The Royal Blackburn Hospital

The Royal Blackburn Hospital

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

HOSPITAL bosses have been told to slash the cost of parking for certain groups of patients, under new government guidelines.

Ministers said relatives of people who were seriously ill, or had to stay in hospital for long periods, should also be given free parking or reduced charges.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) said it already offered free parking to cancer patients, while concessionary charges are also available for frequent visitors.

It costs £3.50 to park at the Royal Blackburn or Burnley General hospital for a full day, which compares favourably with the north west average of £5.50.

But health campaigner Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said he was contacted on a daily basis by patients and families complaining about the charges.

He added: “If this results in the charges being removed or reduced for some patients, then it’s brilliant news. The trust appear to follow some of the guidelines already, but many patients feel ripped off and I’ll make it my mission to make sure they follow all of them.”

The guidelines also recommend that fines should be waived when an overstay is out of the patient’s or visitor’s control, while free or reduced charges should be available to disabled people, frequent outpatient attendees and staff working on overnight shifts.

ELHT charges £1.90 for a stay of 0-3 hours, and £2.80 for a 3-8 hour stay.

Martin Morgan, director of estates and facilities, said: “The trust recognises that hospital car parking charges are an emotive subject and welcome the recently published guidance which will be helpful to ensure a consistent approach between NHS hospitals.

“The trust has provided free car parking for several years for cancer patients attending our sites for treatment.

“Other concessionary parking is available for frequent visitors to our hospitals as the trust offers four free car park attendances within a total of six attendances where receipts are presented. Disabled visitors on benefits can park free of charge.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “These clear ground rules set out our expectations, and will help the public hold the NHS to account for unfair charges or practices.”

Comments (9)

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12:48pm Wed 27 Aug 14

FifeRover says...

All parking at hospitals in Fife is free for all visitors irrespective of length of stay, and that's the way it should be everywhere!!
All parking at hospitals in Fife is free for all visitors irrespective of length of stay, and that's the way it should be everywhere!! FifeRover
  • Score: 13

4:31pm Wed 27 Aug 14

EDL make me laugh says...

It's disgraceful that hospitals make money off ill people.
Parking should be free full stop.
The mark up on food and drinks in hospitals is already substantially high enough for them to make profit to cover over heads.
It's disgraceful that hospitals make money off ill people. Parking should be free full stop. The mark up on food and drinks in hospitals is already substantially high enough for them to make profit to cover over heads. EDL make me laugh
  • Score: 6

5:39pm Wed 27 Aug 14

burner says...

After suffering at the hands of car thieves a long while back on the old hospital site, I welcomed payment for parking because it brought security.
.
What we must appreciate here in Blackburn is the ability to park and then pay-on-return. No need to worry if you are delayed. Also prices are relatively reasonable if you start looking at Manchester or London hospitals
After suffering at the hands of car thieves a long while back on the old hospital site, I welcomed payment for parking because it brought security. . What we must appreciate here in Blackburn is the ability to park and then pay-on-return. No need to worry if you are delayed. Also prices are relatively reasonable if you start looking at Manchester or London hospitals burner
  • Score: -1

6:14pm Wed 27 Aug 14

thoroughbred says...

about bl@@dy time, 3 long stay family members in past year, our family has paid in excess of £400 for visiting terminally ill patients.
It's necessarily the cancer patients that should be free, but their visitors as well.
In fact it should ALL be free at hospitals, I went in with broken leg and my driver panicked for 5 hours about over-staying.
All that money should be going back into the NHS too...not into some greedy private parking company.
about bl@@dy time, 3 long stay family members in past year, our family has paid in excess of £400 for visiting terminally ill patients. It's necessarily the cancer patients that should be free, but their visitors as well. In fact it should ALL be free at hospitals, I went in with broken leg and my driver panicked for 5 hours about over-staying. All that money should be going back into the NHS too...not into some greedy private parking company. thoroughbred
  • Score: 2

6:53pm Wed 27 Aug 14

burner says...

. . . then your driver wasn't at Blackburn.
. . . then your driver wasn't at Blackburn. burner
  • Score: 1

9:42pm Wed 27 Aug 14

shirtbox says...

The four free parkings out of six they talk about is never advertised openly but in obscure positions around the pay machine,very sneaky as one would expect from a private run firm at Blackburn royal.It is not even shown at their office counter .
The four free parkings out of six they talk about is never advertised openly but in obscure positions around the pay machine,very sneaky as one would expect from a private run firm at Blackburn royal.It is not even shown at their office counter . shirtbox
  • Score: 3

10:01pm Wed 27 Aug 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

There is another option for all these mean fisted people who begrudge payng a couple of Quid to park.

2 legs walk it you ******
There is another option for all these mean fisted people who begrudge payng a couple of Quid to park. 2 legs walk it you ****** 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: 1

7:43pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Copperhead says...

2 for 5p ridesagain wrote:
There is another option for all these mean fisted people who begrudge payng a couple of Quid to park.

2 legs walk it you ******
Walk it eh ?
And what about those of us who live several miles away and have to work and then visit elderly relatives in hospital AND collect the patient's spouse aged 80+, take them to visit the patient and then take them home AND fit in child-care for grandchildren ?
WALKING to fit all this in ?
I have said it before and will say it again, " 2 for 5p " is either deliberately taking the mickey or else he is a total kn*b-end.
Parking at hospitals should be FOC for all. If they need some extra cash, sack some administrators and save the cost of these pen-pushers.
I remember when we visited my terminally-ill father-in-law, our first thought when arriving at Blackburn Royal wasn't about his health or how his wife was coping, but rather it was " have we got the right change for the parking meter ".
In fact, knowing the thieving, grasping, parasites who run our hospitals, I am still amazed that my father-in-law's life-support machine wasn't a 50p coin-in-the-slot device.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p ridesagain[/bold] wrote: There is another option for all these mean fisted people who begrudge payng a couple of Quid to park. 2 legs walk it you ******[/p][/quote]Walk it eh ? And what about those of us who live several miles away and have to work and then visit elderly relatives in hospital AND collect the patient's spouse aged 80+, take them to visit the patient and then take them home AND fit in child-care for grandchildren ? WALKING to fit all this in ? I have said it before and will say it again, " 2 for 5p " is either deliberately taking the mickey or else he is a total kn*b-end. Parking at hospitals should be FOC for all. If they need some extra cash, sack some administrators and save the cost of these pen-pushers. I remember when we visited my terminally-ill father-in-law, our first thought when arriving at Blackburn Royal wasn't about his health or how his wife was coping, but rather it was " have we got the right change for the parking meter ". In fact, knowing the thieving, grasping, parasites who run our hospitals, I am still amazed that my father-in-law's life-support machine wasn't a 50p coin-in-the-slot device. Copperhead
  • Score: 0

11:06pm Thu 28 Aug 14

doggydog says...

ee parking is ok in certain conditions except where more than 1 car is being using to visit people. Patients should be able to decide on how gets the free disc so to speak if they are able. Everyone should pay something or it will be used as a place to park whilst people go elsewhere!
ee parking is ok in certain conditions except where more than 1 car is being using to visit people. Patients should be able to decide on how gets the free disc so to speak if they are able. Everyone should pay something or it will be used as a place to park whilst people go elsewhere! doggydog
  • Score: 0

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