Forums General chat NHS parking charges
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  • #112
    kaz
    3 Posts

    Just was a new item on the bbc about charging patients to park at hospital.

    What your opinions on the NHS charging patients to park at hospital?

    My guess is that the money generated wouldn’t even be going to the NHS but some private company managing the parking instead?

    #115
    sammy
    18 Posts

    Complex issue as some places were overrun by people not visiting hospitals and parking for free in hospital car parks…..not been like that for a long time though.

    The charges vary significantly in different locations which is an issue.

    Charging staff to park at work is problem for many…..I’ve worked in.NHS Trusts where one has to pay an annual fee to park but many more permits are granted than there are spaces….even accounting for shift patterns.

    Its also becoming a recruitment problem for some…..my daughter qualifies as a nurse in September and one of her factors in deciding where to work is parking costs and availability!

    #116
    muhammad
    2 Posts

    Easy enough to avoid by not turning up by car.. why should the tax payer pay for other people!

    #117
    dave
    17 Posts

    @muhammad Not really now that all specialist units are in regional centres.

    My dad was in southmead hospital neurosurgical unit for several weeks and it was ridiculously expensive. We were miles from my parents house, 45 mins by car on a clear run (fortunately my brother lives a bit closer). Which in the scheme of regional centres is not so bad. I live in North Wales and the distance from Holyhead or the llyn peninsular to Liverpool or Stoke (where our specialist centres are is massive!!

    To add to the cost of the parking there was no hospital canteen there (not sure if that has changed now) so the only place for us to get food or drink was from the Starbucks on site (not helped by my dad getting a massive craving for their latte due to the high dose of steroids he was on!!).

    You just don’t need that kind of financial stress on top of a relative with a recent terminally cancer diagnosis, a stay on ITU, and the disability resulting from his surgery.

    #118
    beth
    6 Posts

    It’s a complex topic. Parking is often limited, so needs to be rationed. Fees are one way of doing this. That said our local NHS Trust are quite enlightened; if you need to visit regularly they will sell you a cheap weekly permit.

    #119
    kerry
    12 Posts

    Easy enough to avoid by not turning up by car

    @muhammad True, true. Next time I have some problem that won’t fix itself I could just stay home until they have to take me in an ambulance. Win-win.

    Erm…

    #120
    isac90
    3 Posts

    My step-daughter was in Birmingham Children’s Hospital for a week this summer (we live near to Manchester). The hospital does not have any parking, so you have to use the commercial car parks in the area, ie. city centre NCP car parks.

    In the circumstances, it wasn’t top of our worries, but we ended up spending a small fortune.

    #121
    blurty
    9 Posts

    just another tory tax on the sick…..it’s free in scotland btw 😉

    #122
    Gary
    5 Posts

    My guess is that the money generated wouldn’t even be going to the NHS but some private company managing the parking instead?

    Yes, but said company will be paying a fee to the hospital to manage it so the hospital will benefit. You could argue that the hospital could manage the carpark itself, and employ wardens etc

    #123
    peter
    5 Posts

    just another tory tax on the sick…..it’s free in scotland btw;-)

    @blurty more likely to thank Blair & Brown. It’s probably part of the pfi contract and the hospital nor the local council will even own the land.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  peter.
    #125
    blurty
    9 Posts

    @peter your probably right about Blair & Brown…But i’m sure the tory’s could subsidise it the same as the SNP have in scotland.

    #126
    nomad
    4 Posts

    You just don’t need that kind of financial stress on top of a relative with a recent terminally cancer diagnosis, a stay on ITU, and the disability resulting from his surgery.

    A plus one from me.

    I am in a very similar boat to yourself and its not a barrel of laughs.

    Car Parking charges are becoming extortionate and play on people who have no other choice than to visit a hospital by car for wide and varied reasons.

    #127
    ritchy
    4 Posts

    Personally,I wouldn’t mind paying.
    I’m currently a regular visitor to hospital to see my mum.

    And I hold the NHS and its staff in an even higher regard than before.

    Long live the NHS

    #128
    Emma
    9 Posts

    Surely the answer is to have a ticket validation service for genuine patients. You take a ticket on the way in and then when you show your appointment card or similar at the reception desk they validate the card for you. This obviously doesn’t sort out the issue with there simply not being enough space for everyone. Perhaps the hospital could offer cheap or free bus passes to staff who want them.

    My old employer had a permit system we paid for but would issue many times more permits than there were spaces. And then to add to the piss taking were taking on private companies and “tenants” for their bio/business incubator projects and attracting them with reserved parking, which was originally there for the paying staff. A FOI request indicated they made close to £200k a year from parking permits.

    #129
    chris
    2 Posts

    Its a pain but I can see why the charges are there.
    Leeds has 2 main hospitals, one in the city center and one just outside of it.
    The one in the center would be ramned if it was free.
    When my Mrs was in for a month it would have cost me £150 to park to visit her but I was fortunate to have a motorcycle handy.
    Yes there is a bus but for a month life was get up at 6am, feed and clean cats, go to work, get home at 6pm, feed and clean cats, scrub the days filth of myself and go to hospital.
    Get home, eat and go to bed.
    Adding a hour plus of bus travel to the mix was not going to happen.

    #130
    karen
    11 Posts

    I’m a nurse in the nhs and pay around £20 a month to park. We give our patient’s relatives a parking permit so it costs £7 a week/£1 per day (whichever works out cheaper for them) otherwise it is ridiculously expensive. I work in intensive care so I’m not sure if this is something we do because the patients are so sick and are more likely to be in hospital for a prolonged stay or if it is hospital wide. Patient’s relatives are normally very grateful though and it at least takes that financial worry away at a very stressful time.

    #131
    carl
    4 Posts

    More likely to thank Blair & Brown. It’s probably part of the pfi contract and the hospital nor the local council will even own the land.

    Blair and Brown were tories in disguise

    #132
    sue
    7 Posts

    your probably right about Blair & Brown…But i’m sure the tory’s could subsidise it the same as the SNP have in scotland.

    So who is subsidising scotland/the snp? No such thing as a free lunch, or parking. Somebody is paying.

    #133
    luke
    10 Posts

    The AI revolution will solve parking problems not just for hospitals but everywhere as car ownership becomes a thing of the past and driverless electric cars, buses and trains will become our main modes of transport along with shanks ponies and bicycles. Like it or not, I believe it is the future.

    #134
    Howard
    1 Posts

    So who is subsidising scotland/the snp? No such thing as a free lunch, or parking.

    Yes there is if the land belongs to the hospital/trust and they have made the decision not to sell/lease the land to a privately owned parking company because they consider that looking after the staff/patients by providing free parking is more important than milking their assets/staff/patients for every last drop.

    I could be happy with the argument that it’s ok to do this if the income is going directly to the NHS, but I’m pretty sure there are some private parking companies/share holders doing very well out of it.

    #135
    summo
    1 Posts

    @luke Indeed!

    The value of land released from city centre car parking is going to be phenomenal. I only hope that whoever owns the car park of our local PFI hospital reserves that land for future hospital expansion (it’s going to need it) and doesn’t cover it in new build houses or student flats.

    #136
    horseface
    2 Posts

    Yes there is if the land belongs to the hospital/trust and they have made the decision not to sell/lease the land to a privately owned parking company because they consider that looking after the staff/patients by providing free parking is more important than milking their assets/staff/patients for every last drop.

    I imagine in most cases the land ownership, PFIs, contracts etc.. are far from that simple. But not impossible if there was public and political pressure.

    I could be happy with the argument that it’s ok to do this if the income is going directly to the NHS,

    It would be some what more efficient just to do it through taxation. But yes, private companies are probably doing very well out of it.

    I don’t foresee any change in car parking, it’s a business. Until car ownership declines and more people walk, cycle, bus etc.. then prices are only going in one direction.

    #137
    fredders
    1 Posts

    So who is subsidising scotland/the snp?

    No one … it’s the way in which the Scottish government has decided to allocate its money.

    No such thing as a free lunch, or parking. Somebody is paying.

    Yes the people of Scotland are paying through their taxation – but there are things which the people of Scotland want their government to spend money on and NHS Scotland is pretty high up their in their list.

    #138
    jim
    4 Posts

    Another problem with hospital parking.
    When the Mrs goes for her follow up appointments she pays to park but it’s payment up front.
    Its anyone’s guess how long she will be so she has to pay for a few hours and of course the charging scale is 1 hour = quite cheap, 2 hours = second mortgage, 3 hours plus = we own your soul.

    #139
    don
    10 Posts

    Personally,I wouldn’t mind paying.

    @ritchy My Dad was in hospital for 10 weeks, 3 weeks in Bristol 7 weeks in bath, So for just my Mum visiting in her car was £180 (£25 per week in Bristol, £15 per week in Bath), then add what me and my brother had to pay as we weren’t always able to travel together (Brother working, Mum staying all day, staggering visits etc), and the amounts get ridiculous (parking tickets are specific to the car registration at both hospitals).

    Fortunately my local hospital in North Wales doesn’t charge for parking, which given the geographical area that it covers and the lack of public transport its a good thing and the right thing. Car parking charges at hospital are disproportionately unfair on people from rural/ non-urban areas.

    #147
    mel
    2 Posts

    Easy enough to avoid by not turning up by car.. why should the tax payer pay for other people!

    @muhammad I guess that I could push my sister 18 miles each way in a wheelchair the next time I take her in to have her broken leg checked out but it’s not a very realistic solution is it?

    #148
    sam
    1 Posts

    The AI revolution will solve parking problems not just for hospitals but everywhere as car ownership becomes a thing of the past and driverless electric cars, buses and trains will become our main modes of transport along with shanks ponies and bicycles. Like it or not, I believe it is the future.

    @luke Your vision for the future sounds depressingly bland

    #149
    luke
    10 Posts

    @sam Yes, I consider it bland that my father could have retained his independence when he became to ill to drive. I consider it bland that my friend with limited vision would gain the ability to travel by car at will like many people. I don’t actually have any more friends with conditions limiting their driving but there are a lot of people out there who stand to benefit.

    How many man-hours are lost due to drivers sitting in traffic jams in the UK per day? I’m going to estimate on the order of 100,000 man hours per day. It’s very bland that those drivers will then be able to read a book, phone a relative or turn their seat round 180 deg and talk with their children in the back. Golly it all sounds so awful.

    #150
    kaz
    3 Posts

    Obv if this was being outsourced then the parking management company would be looking to make a profit.. using fines and high prices to get that profit.There was a bbc documentary a couple weeks back http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0803b0s which highlights how low some of these private company’s contracted by council will stoop and how incompetent/corrupt councils are.

    #173
    elly
    7 Posts

    TBH having discovered the joys of paying for parking via smartphone machines, tickets and entry/exit barriers seem like a faff 😉

    #174
    katykaty
    7 Posts

    TBH having discovered the joys of paying for parking via smartphone machines, tickets and entry/exit barriers seem like a faff 😉

    @elly By far my preferred option is paying by contactless credit card. All the other options (such as mobile apps) have some kind of faff.

    The advantage of smartphones is that they allow you to “feed the meter” remotely – but not if you’re about to have an MRI or something. Hence why I think pay on exit best suits hospitals – if you go there by yourself you enter, you are often incommunicado for some hours, then you leave. In an extreme case you might find yourself staying overnight – best that you can pay your parking accordingly when you go home than get fined.

    #195
    luke
    10 Posts

    Your vision for the future sounds depressingly bland

    @sam The future with A1 is very depressing when it comes to jobs, but the forward development of it seems unstopable. People will eventually be unable to earn a salary because there will be very few jobs.

    Society may have to resort to the idea introduced by the ancient Romans whereby the State pays it’s citizens an allowance to exist. The Romans called it the “Dole”

    #196
    Harry
    1 Posts

    Our nearest big NHS hospital is fair. There is a charge of about three pounds for a short stay, going up for longer periods , but if you are coming in for an outpatients appointment or A and E you can get your ticket stamped so you only pay the short stay charge even if you are there all day. It is pay on exit and takes cards and coins.

    Unfortunately it is not an environmentally friendly policy, because I would rather pay the car park money than a higher amount to Stagecoach for a bus trip of a couple of miles there and back.

    #197
    blurty
    9 Posts

    @luke I keep hearing everyone saying this, but I just can’t see it working anytime soon. I keep a load of stuff in my car all the time, so how do you get around the need to have personal belongings being left in the car when these smart cars are supposedly going to drive us around therefore making car ownership a thing of the past.

    #198
    luke
    10 Posts

    I keep hearing everyone saying this, but I just can’t see it working anytime soon. I keep a load of stuff in my car all the time, so how do you get around the need to have personal belongings being left in the car when these smart cars are supposedly going to drive us around therefore making car ownership a thing of the past.

    @blurty You will have to learn to adjust. There are loads of people without their own cars now who cope with transporting personal belongings.

    I’m not saying AI has got to happen, but that it is already happening, and the pace is quickening. I am surprised that you are saying this. You are half my age, yet it is your generation which is leading the onward rush into AI. Generally it’s the dye hard old fogies of my generation who tend to resist change!

    #199
    blurty
    9 Posts

    @luke Are you overlooking the fact that many people drive because they enjoy the experience?

    Will AI and VR replace the rest of life’s pleasures???

    #202
    luke
    10 Posts

    I‘m not overlooking that. I suspect that organisations and clubs will form to preserve the past, in the same way that there are people who still ride horses or drive horse drawn carriages, and steam engines these days – themselves pleasurable but outdated modes of transport. You seem to be accusing me of being the driving force behind AI, I’m merely predicting the way things are changing. However I suspect that such activities will not be permitted on roads mixed with AI traffic in the same way that former means of transport are banned from today’s motorways.

    As for life pleasures, AI will result in more and more leisure time so there is likely to be an upsurge in stuff to do. The downside is going to be how people can afford to live let alone pursue them without jobs and income? As I alluded to above I predict a return to Rome’s Dole system, or something similar, whereby the few ultra wealthy owners of the AI infrastructure will pay most of the taxes in order to support the vast number unemployed with all the political and autocratic implications of such a system.

    It’s actually a nightmare future unless the inevitable redundancy of the majority of human beings is addressed, and addressed soon. We are staring to see this already with Union unease at the speed at which jobs like train drivers and guards are under threat.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

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