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Hospital parking fees review

14th September 2007

The Scottish Government has ordered a review of car parking charges at NHS hospitals.

It has been called by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, who said visitors and staff should be protected from unnecessary or excessive charges, and will look at the impact of charges on staff - especially workers on lower salaries - and will consider whether blanket policies are appropriate.

In some hospitals, it costs up to £7 a day for visitors to park but hospital managers defend the charges saying they are important in tackling congestion on their sites.

Ms Sturgeon acknowledged parking charges were a legitimate response by NHS boards to problems of congestion and ensuring adequate space for patients and visitors.

But she added: “People working or visiting hospitals across Scotland should be protected from unnecessary or excessive charges. The cost of hospital car parking, especially for lower paid members of staff who do not qualify for a parking permit, can be a large expense.?

The review follows plans by Unison to ballot NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde staff on strike action over the issue.

However, the health board has said it would press ahead with plans to introduce car parking charges at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), Southern General Hospital and Stobhill Hospital later this year, though stresses it will support the review.

A board spokesman said: “It is clear there are challenges faced all over Scotland in ensuring that patients, visitors and staff who need a car for vital duties can access hospital car parks when they need to.?

 

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Article Information

Title: Hospital parking fees review
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 4073
Date Added: 14th Sep 2007

Sources

BBC News

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