Trade union calls for hospital car park charge increase to be dropped

PUBLISHED: 09:01 18 April 2018

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, main entrance. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, main entrance. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A trade union has criticised a Norfolk hospital’s decision to increase its car park charges by nearly 30pc.

Unison, the trade union representing staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, is calling for the hospital’s plans to increase charges to be dropped.

Earlier this week, the EDP revealed that the cost of a two hour stay at the hospital will go up from £2 to £2.60 from June, with staff parking charges also set to increase.

A union spokesman said some staff will see the amount they pay double over the next few years as a result of the increase, and more than 850 hospital staff have signed a petition protesting the price hike.

Peter Passingham, UNISON regional organiser said: “We are concerned that this rise is actually intended to generate a surplus to help reduce the hospital’s deficit.

“We have asked the Trust several times for information around the running costs of the car parks and what it anticipates future income will be after any rises, but they have failed to provide it.

“The Trust currently receives around £1.3m in car parking charges, whilst staff wages have fallen behind inflation by 14pc since 2010‎. Over 850 staff have signed a petition protesting the increase in parking charges.

“It is wrong that staff, patients and visitors are being made to subsidise the cost of NHS treatment which is supposed to be free at the point of need.”

Trade Unions at the hospital have called for talks with managers in an effort to stop the increase.

Patients and visitors will be charged £1.30 - previously £1 - for each extra hour at the car park, which means a four hour stay will go up from £4 to £5.20 and eight hours from £8 to £10.40. A weekly ticket will go up from £22 to £28.

Staff parking charges will also increase, with those on the lowest salaries seeing their parking fees increase by £1.02 a month in the first year.

The hospital said parking charges for patients and visitors had not changed since April 2016 and staff charges had not increased since 2012.

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