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Free hospital parking for NHS staff in England to end on 31 March

Unions criticise the removal of the scheme, which they say will hit already cash-strapped nurses and result in some leaving the profession

Unions criticise the removal of the scheme, which they say will hit already cash-strapped nurses and result in some leaving the profession

Free parking for NHS staff working in hospitals in England will end on 31 March, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

Parking fees were waived as part of measures to support staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Removal of free parking will ‘reduce staff morale even further’

The move has been criticised by unions, with Unison saying the re-introduction of charges would see some workers leave ‘just as the health service needs experienced staff the most’.

Unions criticise the removal of the scheme, which they say will hit already cash-strapped nurses and result in some leaving the profession

Picture: Neil O'Connor

Free parking for NHS staff working in hospitals in England will end on 31 March, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

Parking fees were waived as part of measures to support staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Removal of free parking will ‘reduce staff morale even further’

The move has been criticised by unions, with Unison saying the re-introduction of charges would see some workers leave ‘just as the health service needs experienced staff the most’.

‘This is no way for the NHS to hang on to staff in the current job market,’ said Unison head of health Sara Gorton.

‘Parking charges will add hundreds of pounds to the massive cost pressures already facing health staff, and will reduce their morale even further.’

Government says many NHS trusts offer free parking ‘for those in greatest need’

The Department of Health and Social Care said the perk had been temporary and was introduced in 2020 for the duration of the pandemic. It said that the scheme had cost around £130 million over the past two years.

Mr Javid confirmed the change in a written update on the pandemic. He also said nine out of ten NHS trusts that charge for car parking have implemented free parking for those in greatest need, including staff working night shifts, blue badge holders, and patients who must regularly attend appointments for long-term conditions.

Find another way to increase government finances, says union

The GMB union called on the government to legislate on free car parking for all.

‘Scrabbling the money back off hard-up workers is not the answer,’ said GMB national officer Rachel Harrison.


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