Call to drop hike in hospital parking charge faces rejection
PUBLISHED: 17:21 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:21 30 April 2018
A call to drop a proposed 30pc parking charge rise at a hospital looks likely to be rejected, with its chief executive saying it had reached a “reasonable and sound compromise” on the hike.
Patients, visitors and staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in King’s Lynn, will face a 30pc in parking charges from June 1.
Both Unison and Unite trade unions have criticised the proposals, saying that the increase in parking charges will wipe out the NHS pay rise for many staff.
Both unions have called on the board of the QEH to drop the charges at its next board meeting due on May 29.
But the hospital’s chief executive Jon Green said the price increases were reasonable as staff parking charges have not changed since 2012.
At a media briefing, he said: “We entered discussions with the unions and we have told them that we want to talk to staff and ask them what they thought. We understand nobody wants to pay more for anything.
“We opened that up over a period of months and on the basis of that we significantly changed the initial proposal and spread it across three years.”
He added that there will be more parking spaces introduced, shower and changing room facilities as well as weekly tickets for part-time staff who are currently paying the full rate.
From June 1, the cost of a two-hour stay will go up from £2 to £2.60 and each extra hour will increase from £1 to £1.30 - increasing the price of a four-hour stay from £4 to £5.20 and eight hours from £8 to £10.40. A weekly ticket will go up from £22 to £28.
Mr Green said during consultations he has received mixed responses from staff over the proposal, with some stating they should not have to pay at all whilst others said they understood the need for prices to go up.
Senior management at the QEH are due to meet with unions before the price increases take effect.
“The unions will be unhappy with the increases but that is not practical in real life,” Mr Green added. “I am confident that ultimately we have to charge a price and we know what we have to go ahead and do. We have reached a reasonable and sound compromise.”