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Hospital staff launch grievance over reinstated parking fees

Union-backed complaint comes after a Cheshire trust reintroduced hospital parking fees despite warnings that staff are already struggling with rising fuel costs

Union-backed complaint comes after a Cheshire trust reintroduced hospital parking fees despite warnings that staff are already struggling with rising fuel costs

Hospital staff have made an official complaint about the reintroduction of parking charges which will mean nurses and other NHS staff must pay at least £15 each month.

Parking fees were lifted due to COVID-19 pandemic

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reinstated parking charges at Leighton Hospital in Crewe at the start of this month after having free parking during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unison says the move will hit cash-strapped nurses and others who will be denied access to the staff car park unless they sign a parking agreement.

Union-backed complaint comes after a Cheshire trust reintroduced hospital parking fees despite warnings that staff are already struggling with rising fuel costs

Photo of the car park at Leighton Hospital in Crewe
Leighton Hospital in Crewe Picture: Alamy

Hospital staff have made an official complaint about the reintroduction of parking charges which will mean nurses and other NHS staff must pay at least £15 each month.

Parking fees were lifted due to COVID-19 pandemic

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reinstated parking charges at Leighton Hospital in Crewe at the start of this month after having free parking during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unison says the move will hit cash-strapped nurses and others who will be denied access to the staff car park unless they sign a parking agreement.

The union is supporting hundreds of staff in a collective grievance – which is a way for a group of staff to make a joint complaint.

NHS trusts and boards in Wales and Scotland do not charge staff for parking. But free parking for staff in England and Northern Ireland, which was introduced due to the pandemic, ended last month, with some trusts starting to charge again.

Unison says other trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside agreed to delay the reintroduction of charges until July and are working with staff to reduce the impact of extra costs. But it claims Mid Cheshire brought charges back two months earlier than expected without consulting staff.

Parking fees at Leighton Hospital, run by the trust, vary according to staff pay bands with the lowest earners charged from £15 to £20 a month, according to Unison.

Unions warn that ‘unfair’ charges could push low-paid staff to quit

Many rely on their cars because the hospital is not served by a regular bus or rail service during their working hours.

Staff would have a to pay a daily rate of £5 to park elsewhere on site or must go in search of limited off-street parking, says the union.

Unison north west regional organiser David McKnight said: ‘Imposing these charges on low-paid staff is unfair and could lead to them quitting at a time when the NHS is already struggling to fill vacancies.’

A survey of nearly 12,000 health workers by Unison last month found parking charges, mileage rates and the soaring cost of petrol are leaving many nurses out of pocket.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust declined to comment.


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