Hospital parking fees come under fire

A PATIENT last night described plans to charge people to park while they undergo dialysis treatment at Ipswich Hospital as “badly thought out”.Although people classed as disabled can still park for free, fees of £2.

A PATIENT last night described plans to charge people to park while they undergo dialysis treatment at Ipswich Hospital as “badly thought out”.

Although people classed as disabled can still park for free, fees of £2.50 have been introduced for those who are not.

One patient, who undergoes regular sessions of treatment on the Heath Road site, said: “As parking is currently free, this is quite an increase. It is also badly thought out.”

He said space outside the unit is restricted, meaning many patients face a lengthy walk from the main car park to the unit.


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He added: “Remember patients are not in the best of health and do not have unlimited time.”

A letter has been sent to all dialysis patients saying they will be charged £2.50 for parking - with each ticket allowing patients to park for three separate times. The ticket is stamped every time it is used.

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Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said the fee had been introduced to help run and maintain the hospital car parks.

“We want to be as fair and as compassionate as we possibly can be to all people who use the hospital,” she said.

“Patients are our first priority. There is a modest increase in charges for people who use the hospital on a regular basis and we've sent letters to patient groups.

“We don't want to disadvantage anyone but we have increased car parking charges because we need to make sure the money we gain from car parking services is reinvested in security and more car parking services.

“The vast majority of people are absolutely wonderful and use the car parks sensibly. Sadly, there's a very small proportion who don't pay to park and we have to be fair to everyone who uses the hospital car park by ensuring it is run correctly.”

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