It is something we here at the Waverley Web have been calling for – Free NHS Staff car parking.
All over Surrey NHS staff are working flat out in a bid to save lives from the Coronavirus, but every day, every year 24/7 they work tirelessly to care for a mounting number of patients in our hospitals.
We have heard here at the Waverley Web that staff in local hospitals serving the borough of Waverley are STILL working with inadequate protection, some without even the basics – gloves and masks. Every day they fight for parking spaces, and some receive fines, even when they have valid parking tickets!
Staff car parking is at a premium, and although the general public are unaware, car parking charges are deducted from gross pay before calculating National Insurance and Pension Contributions – which may in the short-term cost less, but in the long-term has an adverse effect on their pensions.
Following growing calls from the public the Government has NOW instructed Trusts to cease charging.
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that trusts would be given the “financial backing” to “provide free car parking to NHS staff for the duration of COVID-19”.
The Waverley Web believes this should remain in place in perpetuity as a tribute to health workers, some of whom will lose their lives in a bid to save ours!
Local authorities will also provide “free car parking to NHS workers, social care staff and volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Some trusts have already stopped charging staff to park while staff unions had led calls to abolish the charges outright.
The DHSC statement explained: “NHS Trusts are responsible for setting car parking charges locally, and the Health Secretary is urging all Trusts to immediately make use of government funding to abolish parking charges for their staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
It added that the surge of returning staff, trainees and volunteers who have been drafted in to help hospitals combat the crisis meant “some hospitals may also require additional car parking capacity.”
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that “key workers will also be able to use council parking bays without time restriction or charge… The changes will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks including pay and display and will suspend charges for health workers, social care workers and NHS volunteers.”
Local authorities will be responsible for setting out the “suitable evidence” key workers “can display in their windscreen to ensure they avoid parking tickets.”
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: