Free Staff Hospital Parking in England - but Night Shifts Only

Nicky Broyd

December 27, 2019

From April, staff working night shifts in hospitals in England should be able to park for free.

The announcement from the Department for Health and Social Care also covers:

  • Disabled patients with blue badges

  • Outpatients attending regular appointments for long-term conditions

  • Parents of sick children staying in hospital overnight

Hospital parking is already mostly free in Scotland and Wales.

Election Promise

In a statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said hospital parking charges were often mentioned by voters during the election campaign: "One of the concerns mentioned regularly on the doorsteps was that vulnerable people, and staff working nights, have to pay for hospital car parking. So we are today delivering on our manifesto commitment and setting out our new approach to NHS hospital parking charges.

"Currently, the situation varies from hospital to hospital. Instead, from April, across the country those with the greatest need - such as disabled people, parents staying overnight with sick children in hospital, and NHS staff working nightshifts - will no longer have to pay for parking."

Budget Concerns

However, many hospital trusts receive significant income from charges levied on their staff and patients. Earlier this month, Press Association news agency data from Freedom of Information requests calculated the income at £254m from parking in 2018/19 plus £1.5m from parking fines.

Responding to the announcement NHS Providers' Deputy Chief Executive, Saffron Cordery, said: "Trusts want patients to be able to access care at minimum cost and maximum convenience. That’s why many already offer parking concessions.

"But providing parking carries a cost.

"The government says it will ensure compliance with these measures. But it isn’t clear about how it will provide the necessary payments to compensate trusts. The danger is that it will be taken out of funding for patient care."

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