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COVID-19: parking charges suspended for NHS England staff

Decision to make parking free is among measures to support healthcare workers during the pandemic

Picture of a car park in winter. NHS staff in England will have free parking at hospitals and other medical facilities after the government acceded to requests to scrap the fees during the COVID-19 crisis.
Picture: iStock

NHS staff in England are to have free parking at hospitals and other medical facilities after the government acceded to requests to scrap the fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parking will also be free at all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks, including pay and display.  

Individuals must display proof of their role in their vehicle to avoid a ticket.

The change follows calls from the RCN, the Unite union and healthcare workers for the government to suspend car parking charges during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said he will do everything he can to support staff. ‘My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other trusts to do the same with our backing,’ he said.

 

The move follows an announcement that the Scottish Government has abolished car parking fees for NHS staff working at hospitals where car park fees are still in place during the COVID-19 outbreak,

NHS employers are introducing other ways to support staff, with some trusts opening internal pop-up shops where staff can buy food instead of having to use supermarkets. They include the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, as well as the University Hospital of North Tees, part of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

The move follows reports of NHS staff being unable to find fresh food at supermarkets due to panic buying by some shoppers.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust health and well-being lead Jill McGee said: ‘Working round the clock means that some staff members finish during unsociable hours and can’t always make it to the supermarket.

‘This gives them all an equal opportunity to be able to stock their own cupboard and put food on the table for their families.’

Among other attempts to support NHS staff, an online travel firm Trtl is donating £250,000 worth of compression socks for nurses working on wards.

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