Grantham Journal letter: Hospital parking fees are a tax

Protest march through Grantham against night-time closure of town's A&E department.
Protest march through Grantham against night-time closure of town's A&E department.
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I was one of those who attended the rally protesting at the closure of the A&E Department of Grantham Hospital and well done to all the others who turned up.

I did note that not many who might have been aged 20 to 25 were there - very disappointing.

We were urged to declare “war” on ULHT. Not quite the word I would support but the point was made and here is some “ammunition”.

I have, over several months, been getting a response to a Freedom of Information request from ULHT regarding car parking charges at Grantham Hospital and the facilities manager at the hospital has advised me that ULHT have made a clear, net profit in excess of £1,000,000 in the last financial year. Grantham Hospital alone has made £116,710 in profit and despite being previously assured (and I quote): “The money generated from parking fees are reinvested in repair and maintenance for all our sites in Grantham, Lincoln and Boston.” He tells me that (and again I quote): “Whilst we may not invest all additional income in our car parks, it is included in the trust budget for direct patient care services.”

What this means is that staff and visitors to the three hospitals are paying, what is, arguably, a “stealth tax”, to subsidise the National Health Service. Now I can, with considerable difficulty, accept that, albeit I am either at the hospital because I am sick or I am there visiting someone who is sick, I have to pay to park but what I cannot accept is that ULHT make their staff pay to park at work despite making these enormous profits! I have copied my several letters to the Chief Executive of ULHT, Mr J Sobieraj, but he has never responded and presumably just passed the buck onto someone else (including Grantham Hospital Facilities Manager - Mr I Hayden).

Lt Col (Retd) Joe Adkins

Worcester Road

Grantham