NHS staff launch online petition begging for free hospital car parking during coronavirus
NHS staff member, Anthony Gallagher, has called for charges in staff car parks to be abolished to help frontline workers in the nation’s hour of need. He created an online Change.org poll just days ago which has since reached over 4,100 signatures on the survey.
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Mr Gallagher points towards The Principle in NHS Car Park Charging rules which says car park charges must be reasonable.
He then claims it cannot be considered reasonable to charge the NHS workforce to park at work during the crisis or reasonable to distract the workforce with concerns over being fined.
He called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take action in abolishing the fees.
In his petition statement, Mr Gallagher said: “Mr. Hancock, Mr. Sunak, Mr. Johnson, if you really are as grateful as you say you are to the staff of our NHS, then please abolish staff parking fees and fines throughout the NHS immediately and forever.
“If you think my petition is not reasonable, then at least abolish parking fees and fines for our NHS workforce during this National Emergency.
“You can always reintroduce them when you are no longer grateful for their service.”
Data shows two NHS trusts charge staff up to £10 per day for parking in staff bays in a major blow for many workers.
NHS staff paid £86million into hospital car parks in 2018/19 alone as staff are regularly asked to cough up for the payments.
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One health worker confirmed staff in Coventry are asked to pay for a £43 per month work permit but failure to secure one can see many forced to pay the £10 per day charges.
Law changes mean all 206 hospital trusts will have to provide free parking to those who attend hospital regularly.
The rules will also cover staff working night shifts in healthcare providers but many could still be left with strict payments.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was looking at ways to get rid of parking charges during the crisis.
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The SNP leader said the Scottish government wants to take away the cost for staff and will do anything it can to help frontline workers.
She said: “The Health Secretary is looking urgently at how we can get rid of parking charges during this period from these hospitals.
“Hopefully we can talk to the companies, but if not the government will want to do what it can to take away that cost from those who will be working so hard to keep us safe.”
However, some companies across the UK have already taken action into their own hands to ensure NHS staff are not caught out during the coronavirus pandemic.
Private parking firm NCP has announced they will offer free parking to all NHS staff during the outbreak.
Workers need to simply visit the NCP website and pre-book a space to receive the fantastic offer.
The scheme will be valid across 150 car parks across the UK and can be booked up to an hour before arrival.
Online parking firm JustPark has launched a new coronavirus service where members of the public can rent out their driveway for free to hospital staff and patients.
This will help ease the burden on overloaded hospital car parks which could struggle cope during a pandemic.
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