Parking fees anger hospital staff
A NURSE at cash-strapped Ipswich Hospital has branded an increase in staff car parking charges “a kick in the teeth”.The NHS worker, who does not want to be named, said her season ticket for parking will now increase from £36 a year to £180.
A NURSE at cash-strapped Ipswich Hospital has branded an increase in staff car parking charges “a kick in the teeth”.
The NHS worker, who does not want to be named, said her season ticket for parking will now increase from £36 a year to £180.
The parking charges will come into force on November 1 after the trust board agreed the move earlier this year in a bid to tackle its multi-million pound debt.
It means there will now be a blanket rate of £15 a month, regardless of whether those working at the hospital are full or part time, or they can pay 80p a day.
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The nurse said: “It doesn't sound a lot but at the moment I am part time and as I work less than 22 hours a week I pay £36, but now I will have to pay £180 a year - it's not a vast amount of money to some but it is to me.
“If you work below 22 hours a week at the moment you are entitled to reduced parking of £3 a month. I don't think it's on that the staff are being asked to pay for the trust's mistakes.
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“I work for the NHS because I like helping people and I am always a trooper for the NHS but I think it's awful at the moment. Some people are leaving but I am sticking it out but this is just another kick in the teeth.”
She said the permit would not guarantee her a place in the car park and she would now have to drive to work around three-quarters of an hour early to ensure she was able to get a space, which would not always be possible, or risk a £60 fine.
However, she added that if she were to pay the 80p a day charge she would save around £55 on the yearly cost of a permit.
It is the first time parking charges have increased since December 2002.
Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said an email was sent to staff yesterday reminding them that if they wanted a parking permit then the new charges would apply.
She said staff were guaranteed a parking permit if they lived a certain distance away from the hospital, if they need a car for their job or if they have childcare or family commitments.
She added that the walking boundary had been extended “slightly” to try to increase the car parking available for patients and visitors using the hospital.
Meanwhile, the trust had “tried to make as many options available” to staff, including promoting park and ride schemes and interest-free loans for those wanting to buy low emission mopeds or bicycles.
Ms Rowsell said: “This is designed to help us get the best use out of our limited car parking and help us achieve financial stability again.”