New Government rules will ensure relatives of chronically ill patients will get free or cheap parking

Southampton General Hospital

Southampton General Hospital

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

RELATIVES of chronically ill patients at a Southampton hospital must be given free or cheap on-site parking under new rules announced by the Government.

Patients with disabilities and those with frequent appointments as well as staff working shifts will also benefit from the shake-up, according to Jeremy Hunt.

The Health Secretary said new guidelines for English hospitals had been drawn up to put an end to the stress of ''unfair'' charges.

Trusts should waive fines when an overstay is beyond the control of the driver, such as treatment taking longer than planned, under the reforms.

It is understood Southampton General Hospital raked in more than £3m in charges in 2013, one of the highest sums in the country.

There are 10 trusts in England that make more than £2m a year from parking while 36 more bring in more than £1m.

Charges at the General start at £2 for one hour and go up to £14 for between 12 and 24 hours.

There is also the option for long stay parking starting at £18 for seven days ranging to £48 for 30 days.

Mr Hunt last month admitted he had concerns about the fees being charged to park at some hospitals after being pressed by Conservative backbenchers to put an end to the ''rip-off'' costs.

The guidance sets out for the first time that hospital trusts are responsible for the actions of any privately contracted firms they use to run their car parking operations.

It also calls on hospitals should also look at introducing pay on exit systems so that they only pay for the time they have used.

Mr Hunt said: ''Patients and families shouldn't have to deal with the added stress of unfair parking charges.

''These clear ground rules set out our expectations, and will help the public hold the NHS to account for unfair charges or practices.''

Comments (13)

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5:46pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Richard 51 says...

And about time too
And about time too Richard 51
  • Score: 7

6:32pm Sat 23 Aug 14

legod7 says...

If you visit the oncology dept. you only pay £2 regardless of how long your visit is
If you visit the oncology dept. you only pay £2 regardless of how long your visit is legod7
  • Score: 6

6:38pm Sat 23 Aug 14

acid drop says...

legod7 wrote:
If you visit the oncology dept. you only pay £2 regardless of how long your visit is
I know, but not everybody is using oncology.
[quote][p][bold]legod7[/bold] wrote: If you visit the oncology dept. you only pay £2 regardless of how long your visit is[/p][/quote]I know, but not everybody is using oncology. acid drop
  • Score: -8

6:47pm Sat 23 Aug 14

BeyondImagination says...

I think it is acceptable to cover the cost of providing parking. Making large surpluses at the expense of patients and staff is wrong. Shame this government waited 4 years until just before an election to act.
I think it is acceptable to cover the cost of providing parking. Making large surpluses at the expense of patients and staff is wrong. Shame this government waited 4 years until just before an election to act. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 5

10:30pm Sat 23 Aug 14

sparkster says...

Its about time, it's stressful enough going to hospital and if your test/treatment goes over time as the clinics often run late you dont need the added stress of going over time with parking. Also if relatives have been called to the hospital for a dying patient they dont need the added stress of going over time either with parking
Its about time, it's stressful enough going to hospital and if your test/treatment goes over time as the clinics often run late you dont need the added stress of going over time with parking. Also if relatives have been called to the hospital for a dying patient they dont need the added stress of going over time either with parking sparkster
  • Score: 8

6:58am Sun 24 Aug 14

Solent Soul says...

I have had my fair share of visits to SGH in the last couple of years & this has bn a particular annoyance, but there are things I found out to make things easier. You can buy long term tickets if you have to visit the hospital on a daily basis which reduces the costs considerably. Monies raised from parking have been used to pay for such things like the helipad & new wards which makes it easier to bare when paying. It shouldn't have come to this though if government funded the nhs property or policed where funding was spent & wasn't wasted..
I have had my fair share of visits to SGH in the last couple of years & this has bn a particular annoyance, but there are things I found out to make things easier. You can buy long term tickets if you have to visit the hospital on a daily basis which reduces the costs considerably. Monies raised from parking have been used to pay for such things like the helipad & new wards which makes it easier to bare when paying. It shouldn't have come to this though if government funded the nhs property or policed where funding was spent & wasn't wasted.. Solent Soul
  • Score: 6

6:59am Sun 24 Aug 14

LadyNetley says...

I hope this applies to Mental Health Units as well.
I hope this applies to Mental Health Units as well. LadyNetley
  • Score: 1

7:49am Sun 24 Aug 14

owenmahamilton says...

About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.
About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine. owenmahamilton
  • Score: -1

11:40am Sun 24 Aug 14

forest hump says...

owenmahamilton wrote:
About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.
Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.
[quote][p][bold]owenmahamilton[/bold] wrote: About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.[/p][/quote]Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel. forest hump
  • Score: 3

1:02pm Sun 24 Aug 14

IronLady2010 says...

forest hump wrote:
owenmahamilton wrote:
About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.
Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.
Quite agree.
A blue badge holder should have the right to park closer to the entrance for ease of access, not get free parking.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]owenmahamilton[/bold] wrote: About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.[/p][/quote]Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.[/p][/quote]Quite agree. A blue badge holder should have the right to park closer to the entrance for ease of access, not get free parking. IronLady2010
  • Score: 2

2:04pm Sun 24 Aug 14

forest hump says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
forest hump wrote:
owenmahamilton wrote:
About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.
Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.
Quite agree.
A blue badge holder should have the right to park closer to the entrance for ease of access, not get free parking.
Thank you! I do not expect any financial favours. Why should I ?
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]owenmahamilton[/bold] wrote: About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.[/p][/quote]Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.[/p][/quote]Quite agree. A blue badge holder should have the right to park closer to the entrance for ease of access, not get free parking.[/p][/quote]Thank you! I do not expect any financial favours. Why should I ? forest hump
  • Score: 1

6:57pm Tue 26 Aug 14

nelson1 says...

forest hump wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
forest hump wrote:
owenmahamilton wrote:
About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.
Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.
Quite agree.
A blue badge holder should have the right to park closer to the entrance for ease of access, not get free parking.
Thank you! I do not expect any financial favours. Why should I ?
The location of the handicapped parking area at SGH has long been a subject of complaint. I am advised in the new plans for the reorgansation of the front of the hospital that it will be enlarged, and much closer to the new main entrance. Lets wait and see - and how long will it take!?.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]owenmahamilton[/bold] wrote: About time too, They got £10 out of me in the space of a week a couple of weeks back as I had to go for a pre admission appointment and then a week later was on the Surgical Day ward, as a disabled person I think it is wrong to charge disabled people to park, it makes the blue badge a bit pointless, what made it worse was that they had cordoned off about half a dozen of the spaces in the car park for some unknown reason. The worse part altogether though is the barrier to get into the car park itself which if I had driven myself to the hospital is totally unusable as there is no way I could reach to press the button to get a ticket out the machine.[/p][/quote]Wrong!! Wrong!! Being disabled (I am a blue badge holder) should not mean the holder has the right to a free lunch. It should mean they have the access to user friendly facilities, normally nearer the intended destination. Disability does not mean you are financially inept. Also if you could not reach the button, I seriously think you should not be behind a wheel.[/p][/quote]Quite agree. A blue badge holder should have the right to park closer to the entrance for ease of access, not get free parking.[/p][/quote]Thank you! I do not expect any financial favours. Why should I ?[/p][/quote]The location of the handicapped parking area at SGH has long been a subject of complaint. I am advised in the new plans for the reorgansation of the front of the hospital that it will be enlarged, and much closer to the new main entrance. Lets wait and see - and how long will it take!?. nelson1
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Thu 28 Aug 14

nelson1 says...

All should note that the declaration from the Health Minister is only advisory. Dept of Health has no direct control over such issues at The General. Lets wait and see if they make any changes. i suspcet not.
All should note that the declaration from the Health Minister is only advisory. Dept of Health has no direct control over such issues at The General. Lets wait and see if they make any changes. i suspcet not. nelson1
  • Score: 0
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