Should there be car parking charges in NHS hospitals

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  • Robert Halfon MP has introduced a ten minute rule bill into parliament today to prohibit charges made at NHS hospitals.


    As the MP explained, if you have cancer or another long term health condition or have a premature baby, you are hit the hardest by these charges. An average charge for a one hour parking is £1.80 with the highest ones around £4 per hour.


    In his speech, the MP also said that doctors and nurses need to be helped too, but why is that, especially doctors? They get paid lots.


    Opponents says that if car parking charges were eliminated, this would take £200 million out of clinical care, but the MP has argued that with greater efficiency and procurement practices, the NHS could easily make up that deficit.


    The bill will be debated on Friday 16th March 2018.


    Should parking at a NHS hospital be free?

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  • Should parking at a NHS hospital be free?

    For those who genuinely are using that hospital. We had a problem in Worthing that the hospital is almost in the town centre and was being used by shoppers to avoid the parking charges in the main car parks so the hospital matched them but unfortunately for all.


    I'd make it necessary to pay at the exit unless you get a one-time card from the hospital itself that would let you out for free.


    Opponents says that if car parking charges were eliminated, this would take £200 million out of clinical care, but the MP has argued that with greater efficiency and procurement practices, the NHS could easily make up that deficit.

    When you hear that some trusts are paying 20x as much for supplies as others, there has to be savings on procurement to be made.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • For those who genuinely are using that hospital. We had a problem in Worthing that the hospital is almost in the town centre and was being used by shoppers to avoid the parking charges in the main car parks so the hospital matched them but unfortunately for all.


    I'd make it necessary to pay at the exit unless you get a one-time card from the hospital itself that would let you out for free.

    To combat shoppers, or occasional visitors in the car parks is simple, and you've said it already. Many hospitals issue a "pass" for those people who are really ill or are visiting those who very ill. It's just trying to find a nurse to get hold of one, that is often the problem.


    This proposed law allows some of the best paid people in the country, doctors, to get free parking and I don't see why other staff should get free parking either. Why should nurses or other hospital workers get free parking, when office or factory workers normally don't enjoy this perk.

    When you hear that some trusts are paying 20x as much for supplies as others, there has to be savings on procurement to be made

    It always amazes me how inefficient the NHS is and although the service is meant to be national, it's not. Each trust makes its own supplier contracts, thus costing the country more money then necessary.


    The NHS needs to get someone in from a company like Apple to drive efficiency, that would get rid of a lot of waste.

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  • I'd make it necessary to pay at the exit unless you get a one-time card from the hospital itself that would let you out for free.

    I think that's a great idea if it was applied solely to patients. Making visitors pay and not the patients would seem to be the way to go. The hospital will still get some money and the patients aren't penalised for being ill.

  • I think that's a great idea if it was applied solely to patients. Making visitors pay and not the patients would seem to be the way to go. The hospital will still get some money and the patients aren't penalised for being ill.

    The only caveat being that if its very sick or terminally ill patients, should close relatives (not distant cousins) get free parking too?

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  • The only caveat being that if its very sick or terminally ill patients, should close relatives (not distant cousins) get free parking too?

    I suppose it could be done but only on a case by case basis which might be more difficult to administer.

  • The thing is once you introduce parking charges for hospital car parking, you then have to pay someone to check that people are paying so the parking charges have to be at a level that fund that, also what happens when someone is found not paying, would a hospital have the authority to fine those that don't pay?

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • The thing is once you introduce parking charges for hospital car parking, you then have to pay someone to check that people are paying so the parking charges have to be at a level that fund that

    That's right, there's always clampers operating in my area's hospitals.

    also what happens when someone is found not paying, would a hospital have the authority to fine those that don't pay?

    It's all done by the private clamping firms. Obviously, if you want your car back, you pay the fine.

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  • I suppose it could be done but only on a case by case basis which might be more difficult to administer.

    In my area's hospitals now, the nurses aren't really keen on the present system, as they have other things to deal with than handing out passes for free car parking, so you're right, any expansion of that would be nightmare for them and difficult to administer. It's why administrators are still needed in hospitals.

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  • That's right, there's always clampers operating in my area's hospitals.

    It's all done by the private clamping firms. Obviously, if you want your car back, you pay the fine.

    In my opinion, clamping kind of defeats the object, in that someone is already parked in a space that could be used by someone who actually needs it, so preventing them form leaving until they pay a fine which they may not be able to do immediately means the space is then occupied longer.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I agree Ron. I hate clampers and I don't even drive.

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  • My views are mostly confined to the Oxford NHS hospitals John Radcliffe and Churchill. The problem isn't just the cost; after all, paying for parking is part of the cost of using a car, whether for shopping or visiting a hospital. I don't see why unhappy trips should be cost-exempt, except as an act of governmental generosity or social sensitivity to those who qualify for financial or medical hardship.


    Nevertheless, it is socially and morally unacceptable to impose an opportunist extortionist charge on a captive market. This is NHS, not Luton Airport.


    That said, today's citizens do seem to have an assumption of entitlement, cost exemption or special dispensation to practically every nationalised or government-funded service.


    For the non-scrounging or non-entitled majority, the bigger problem is the unavailability of parking spaces, the driving around the numerous car parks (nearest to the treatment block you want is a pipe dream) and eventually opting to join a queue at a rate of one entry every 3-5 minutes and then driving around inside the car park looking for a space. I travel 20 miles by car to one or other of the the above-named hospitals, which takes 45-50 minutes and then I have to allow one hour to park my car. And I have to pay for this privilege! Driving to a park & ride and getting a shuttle bus to the hospital is not a useful option when the shuttle busses are once every half hour and take about 20-30 minutes to get to the hospital and another 10 minutes to drop off passengers at different treatment blocks. A taxi is unaffordable. The solution is obvious (to me at least): buy massive amounts of land within 10 minutes walk of the hospitals, be prepared eventually to convert to multi-storey parking as demand increases, have several smaller shuttle buses running more frequently, both to the hospital (no charge) or to Oxford city centre (the same charge as Park & Ride). Whether there is a parking charge at the shuttle departure car park for NHS patients and visitors is a moot point.

  • My area's hospitals are multi-storey car parks and you still drive around for ages to find a space.


    I agree with the general principle that everyone now thinks that they are entitled to a free services from the State. Of course, there is no such thing, it just means the cost is borne by someone else.


    I think those with terminal illness' or on-going serious conditions such as cancer should be exempt from charges, as should close relatives visiting them.


    Someone wandering into A&E or the ER (why does everything have to change into using American terminology??) who's just been on a Saturday night bender and been drinking as much booze as they can get down their gullets, should have to pay charges as should their relatives, if they're sober enough to visit them.

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  • I wouldn't bother charging more for booze as a deterrent to getting sloshed. Instead, those who roll up drunk at A&E drunk, with a few cuts, bruises, and broken bones will dabbed with antiseptic, stick on bandages and suitable support,brace, and then thrown together into a drunk tank and locked in until they are sober enough to write a simple sentence asking to be released on their own responsibility


    Those swept up from the street at pub closing time who are not injured would just be thrown into a drunk tank overnight and released at dawn


    Hose arrested for being drunk and committing a crime beyond disorderliness would have their very own tank of drunken criminals, awaiting a court hearing next day


    In all three scenarios it's probably best to separate the sexes. (Transgenders will be assigned physically rather than emotionally).


    If this was done with maximum LACK of care, comfort and consideration it would be a powerful detererrent against repeating the experience

  • If there's not already a thread here about alcoholism, there will be, so I'll save my remarks about that for there, but basically, I fully agree with your comments.


    I've had some recent experiences of hospitals, including one specific incident with a drunk and it's not pleasant, especially when you're in pain with a blood clot and the drunk is causing havoc, as was my recent-ish experience.

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