Grantham man launches nationwide petition to stop parking costs for NHS staff
A Grantham man has launched a petition calling on NHS staff to be given free parking in hospital car parks across the country.
Matthew Ash, of Alma Park, Grantham, started the campaign after discovering that some hospital staff members were paying up to £10 a day to park after charges resumed after being temporarily paused during lockdown.
More than 1,000 people have now given their support to the campaign and signed the petition since it was launched just a week ago.
Matthew, 36, felt determined to raise awareness of the plight of the staff car parking situation after his mother passed away recently at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
He said:”While I was there I noticed that there was parking attendants driving around the car park. It was then that I found out that my niece, who is a nurse in Stoke, had gotten into a lot of financial difficulty because of tickets that dated back several years. I found that several nurses had applied for permits, with some costing £600 a year, but were turned down. I also found out that those that have permits don’t always have space to park so they have to park in a public car park.
In some parts of the country, including where my niece works, a day’s parking costs around £10.
“The NHS has to deal with the lot. Long gruelling hours, dealing with things that us as public can only imagine. The last thing they need is the extra stress of having to pay for parking.”
Since launching the petition a week ago, it has gained 1,049 signatures.
A spokesperson for United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust, which covers Grantham Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital, Boston Pilgrim Hospital and County Hospital Louth, confirmed that their staff actually have free parking on ULHT hospital sites.
Lorraine Whitehead, United Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) director of estates and facilities, said: “UHNM benchmarked against other NHS organisations regarding parking charges and our charges are in line with the national average. Parking tariffs ensure the cost of maintaining this vital service does not impact on finances allocated for patient care. As such, any surplus finance generated from car parking is reinvested directly back into patient care.
"UHNM is currently in the planning stages to build a new multi-storey car park adjacent to the Royal Stoke University Hospital and the Trust has received £5.35m of government funding to make the purchase.
However, we are still in discussions with health partners about the necessary investment to develop and build any such car park."