Jackie lead a debate in the House of Commons yesterday which saw Members from all sides of the House endorsing the principle that charges in NHS car parks should be scrapped for patients, their... families and staff. Numerous examples of punitive car park charges were highlighted during the course of the debate.
Jackie said in the House of Commons
"For so many of our constituents, driving to hospital is not a choice, it is essential. Many of them are undergoing treatment which means that travel by public transport is simply not an option, particularly when they have to be accompanied by members of their family. Members of their family will also wish to visit them if they have a prolonged stay, and they, too, should not be faced with punitive car parking charges. To put it simply, hospital car parking charges are a tax on NHS treatment.
The NHS is supposed to be free at the point of use, but it is not when patients who have to drive are paying through the nose. Hospital car parking charges are a tax on the sick. We should send a strong message to the managers of all hospitals that we expect them to take steps to reduce this financial penalty on the most vulnerable in our society"
I am pleased to have the support of Labour, LibDem and Conservative members on this important issue. Where hospital trusts are ripping off vulnerable patients with high car park charges it is essential that we MPs say that isn’t good enough and challenge the management of those trusts to do right by their patients