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Free hospital parking for nurses: help us campaign to make it permanent, says union

Survey aims to show employers the difference removing parking charges has made to NHS staff
Image of a 'free parking' sign. Unison are campaigning for free parking to continue indefinitely for NHS staff

Survey aims to show employers the difference removing parking charges has made to NHS staff

Unison is calling for nurses views to support its campaign for free parking to continue indefinitely for NHS staff.

The union wants nurses and other healthcare staff to complete a survey and share their experiences of car parking costs as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

Some trusts planning to reinstate parking charges

It will use the information to highlight to employers the difference free parking at hospital sites has made to staff throughout the pandemic.

In March, the government announced that NHS staff in England must be given free parking during the pandemic.

Survey aims to show employers the difference removing parking charges has made to NHS staff

Image of a 'free parking' sign. Unison are campaigning for free parking to continue indefinitely for NHS staff
Picture: iStock

Unison is calling for nurses’ views to support its campaign for free parking to continue indefinitely for NHS staff.

The union wants nurses and other healthcare staff to complete a survey and share their experiences of car parking costs as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

Some trusts ‘planning to reinstate parking charges’

It will use the information to highlight to employers the difference free parking at hospital sites has made to staff throughout the pandemic.  

In March, the government announced that NHS staff in England must be given free parking during the pandemic.

Trusts in Northern Ireland also provided free parking for staff, as well as three sites in Scotland.

However, Unison says some hospital trusts have reinstated or are planning to reinstate staff parking charges.

‘No direction given’ to end free parking

The union says that when the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was informed that one site had reinstated charges, it said they should revert to free parking for staff ‘post-haste, as they were never given any direction they should stop it’.

However, in July, the government said that free hospital parking for all nurses in England would end once the COVID-19 pandemic began to ease.

At the time, DHSC said that free parking would continue as the pandemic eases, but only for ‘key patient groups and NHS staff in certain circumstances’. It did not give further details on the timeline for this change.

Valuing nurses’ commitment

RCN director for England Mike Adams said the reversal of the decision to offer free parking would damage the government’s relationship with nurses, and would ‘not give the impression that their professionalism and commitment is truly valued’.

NHS hospitals in Wales introduced free parking for staff in 2018.

The Unison survey is open until the end of September. 


Related material

Unison survey: Hospital car parking 2020


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