Coronavirus: Free parking for all NHS and social care staff

Published 26 March 2020

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is giving immediate financial backing for all NHS trusts to provide free car parking to NHS staff for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

It comes as the Local Government Secretary has agreed local councils will also offer free car parking to all NHS workers and social care staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

NHS Trusts are responsible for setting car parking charges locally, and the Health Secretary is urging all Trusts to immediately make use of Government funding to abolish parking charges for their staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said, "Free parking will make a big difference for hundreds of thousands of frontline staff, but this is just the start, and we will be setting out further support offers over the coming days and weeks, to ensure the NHS looks after those who look after all of us."

Following the huge response from volunteers and retired NHS staff coming forwards to work on the frontline, some hospitals may also require additional car parking capacity.

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Under new measures agreed by Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, all councils in England and the Local Government Association critical key workers will also be able to use council parking bays without time restriction or charge. The changes will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks including pay and display.

Councils will set up local arrangements so NHS and care workers and volunteers can provide suitable evidence that they can display in their windscreen to ensure they avoid parking tickets. Many councils have already suspended parking charges for key workers as part of the national effort to tackle coronavirus.

The National Car Parking Group confirmed earlier this week that it will also provide NHS staff free parking at all 150 of their car parks in England. Additionally, Ministers are urging all businesses and other organisations located near hospitals to work with their local NHS Trusts to consider allowing NHS staff use of their car parks.

JustPark is still urging the public and businesses located close to hospitals to list their car parking spaces for free. The app enables unused parking spaces to be listed for others to reserve and pay for in advance, but is allowing free parking for healthcare workers and patients.

Comments

Scot5    on 26 March 2020

Ridiculous, absolute ridiculous.

What's the difference between NHS staff parking during this Coronavirus outbreak and their need to park any other time?

NHS Staff never should have and should never have to again, pay for parking at their place of work.

Why has it taken a situation like this for the authorities to start respecting and applauding NHS staff when they've always been there for us 24x7?

IanLB    on 27 March 2020

The car park at the hospital where I work is run by CP Plus who are refusing to allow staff to park for free until they know for certain that the government will reimburse their lost revenue.

VINCENT MILLARD    on 31 March 2020

The car park at the hospital where I work is run by CP Plus who are refusing to allow staff to park for free until they know for certain that the government will reimburse their lost revenue.

Now that is just SCANDALOUS and there should be a register of such Companies, so they can be dealt with after the C-19 emergency is over!

IrishNeil    on 28 March 2020

The NHS is being publicly owned.
Sort of, the acronym is publicly owned and the acronym is protected.
But that's it, nothing else is owned by the NHS. Only the logo.
The hospital sites, the land, the catering, the cleaners, the porters, the security, the equipment, the beds, the ventilators, the car parks.....are owned by public private initiatives, PPI's, not the NHS.
Equipment is purchsed on behalf of the NHS by a procuremnt arrangement from a closed list of PPI suppliers.
For example, the hand santisers you see dotted about on the walls all over hospitals & clinics.
The sanitiser box and gel are owned by a public private initiative company that replaces the gel sanitiser every few days.
The sanitiser costs £4 per packet but the public private initiative company submits an invoice for £46 for every new packet of gel that this company has exclusive rights to manage and monitor.
Thats only one example, my colleagues pay minimum £20 per month for a parking pass that does not guarantee a parking space when they turn up for duty.
What has this got to do with HJ and free parking? Everything is interconnected, a bit like Rona, our new virus.

jchinuk    on 29 March 2020

That is not quite true. There are two hospitals in the trust I worked for, one was built under PFI, the other was a slightly older site and wholly owned by the NHS, though some areas porters, cleaners, were contracted out.

For example, the shops in the PFI hospital were franchises and expensive, in the other the shop stocked more or less the same, but was run by the 'League of Friends', not for profit and cheaper.

Supplies come from NHS Supplies, a separate trading arm of the NHS, including things like hand sanitiser.

I'm not saying IrishNeil is wrong, it's just different trusts are organised differently as are their relationships with PFI suppliers.

VINCENT MILLARD    on 31 March 2020

The NHS is being publicly owned. Sort of, the acronym is publicly owned and the acronym is protected. But that's it, nothing else is owned by the NHS. Only the logo. The hospital sites, the land, the catering, the cleaners, the porters, the security, the equipment, the beds, the ventilators, the car parks.....are owned by public private initiatives, PPI's, not the NHS. Equipment is purchsed on behalf of the NHS by a procuremnt arrangement from a closed list of PPI suppliers. For example, the hand santisers you see dotted about on the walls all over hospitals & clinics. The sanitiser box and gel are owned by a public private initiative company that replaces the gel sanitiser every few days. The sanitiser costs £4 per packet but the public private initiative company submits an invoice for £46 for every new packet of gel that this company has exclusive rights to manage and monitor. Thats only one example, my colleagues pay minimum £20 per month for a parking pass that does not guarantee a parking space when they turn up for duty. What has this got to do with HJ and free parking? Everything is interconnected, a bit like Rona, our new virus.

Get the lists of overcharging into the Public Accounts Dept and see if they run with it!

jchinuk    on 29 March 2020

What the initiative does not address is that modern hospitals were deliberately built with fewer car park spaces that they needed to accommodate all the staff, this was a planning requirement to encourage people out of their cars. Of course, when you come off shift at 11:00 pm and buses running are not an attractive option and, as Neil points out, the permit does not guarantee a space and unless you 'pay & display' staff can't use the public car parks.

In my experience, there is a long waiting list for the permits that are paid for.

Arthur Gardiner    on 1 April 2020

Well how about this? I work for a trust where they share the land with another trust. We each have our own car parks: ours is free for our staff (I'm sorry I have to use the term 'our' when we're all in the NHS) and the other trust's staff have to buy a permit for theirs. No surprises then for guessing what happens: The 'other' lot flash their NHS IDs to the poor early morning car park attendants and take up 'our' car park spaces so there often aren't enough for 'us'. Later on when there are no attendants (can't afford them all day) the 'other' lot brazenly have a free-for-all. Needless to say it causes unnecessary ill-feeling. May be Rona will sort it out when this is all over. Just may be......

VWCSK    on 2 April 2020

Suit you sir, these two faced politicians really make me sick because last month both local council and central government refused permission of our main local hospital to build a staff car park as its deemed to be environmental unfriendly.

Patronising bunch of low lives.

Paul Jenkinz    on 7 April 2020

NHS staff should never have to pay to park its disgusting

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