Free NHS parking ‘to be axed’: Parents of sick children and the disabled may be hit with charges in bid to save millions by Department of Health and Social Care
- Health Secretary Therese Coffey’s department is looking at cuts to save millions
- It would go against the 2019 Conservative manifesto which vowed to ‘end unfair hospital car parking charges for those in greatest need’
- The saving plans would also affect doctors and nurses working night shifts
The parents of sick children and the disabled could lose free hospital parking under controversial new savings plans.
The Mail on Sunday understands Health Secretary Therese Coffey‘s department is looking at the cuts to save tens of millions of pounds.
But the move, which would also affect doctors and nurses working overnight, has provoked a furious response from nurses’ leaders.
Critics also pointed out it would fly in the face of the 2019 Tory manifesto, which vowed to ‘end unfair hospital car parking charges for those in greatest need’.
Under current arrangements in England, hospital trusts must provide free parking for four groups – the disabled, outpatients with at least three hospital appointments in a month, hospital staff working night shifts and the parents of sick children staying overnight.
Health Secretary Therese Coffey’s department is looking at scrapping free parking for the parents of sick children and the disabled to save tens of millions of pounds. Stock image
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting (pictured at the Labour Party Conference last month) said: ‘They’ve gone from clapping NHS staff to slapping them in the face’
But a source told The Mail on Sunday that the free parking was now under threat. One said: ‘They have got their eyes on this even though in terms of the overall NHS budget, it won’t save that much money.’
Last night, Pat Cullen, the Royal College of Nursing’s General Secretary and Chief Executive, said: ‘Ministers need to invest in nursing, not threaten to undermine it further.’
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: ‘They’ve gone from clapping NHS staff to slapping them in the face.’
Last night, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘We are delivering on the manifesto commitment to provide free hospital car parking to thousands more NHS patients and visitors, with every NHS Trust implementing free car parking for those who need it most.’