Extension to free parking at hospitals run by East and North Herts NHS Trust
- Credit: Archant
Parking at three hospital sites run by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust will continue to be free for staff, patients and visitors until the end of August.
Parking charges at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital, Welwyn Garden City’s QEII Hospital and Hertford County Hospital were suspended for everyone at the beginning of lockdown to coincide with a government scheme to temporarily fund free parking for all NHS hospital workers.
Charges were due to be reintroduced on August 1, but the government’s scheme has been extended until August 31, so free parking for everyone at the three hospital sites will continue until then.
Parking arrangements for Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood, which is also run by the East and North Herts NHS Trust, are actually the responsibility of Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which reintroduced parking charges on July 1.
A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust said: “We do not seek to make a profit from parking at any of our hospital sites. Any money that we make from car parks goes back into maintaining our parking facilities.
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“We believe NHS money should be spent on treating patients. Without a government subsidy, money intended for patient care will have to be used to provide and maintain parking facilities on the site if we were to continue with free parking.
“Car parks can become very full at some of our sites, and we ask those attending to be a good neighbour and park responsibly.
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“We will of course continue to review our parking policy in line with national guidance.”
Government plans to make hospital parking permanently free for those in greatest need - including NHS staff working night shifts, people with disabilities and parents staying overnight with sick children - were due to come into force in April this year but, while hospitals are being encouraged to enact the scheme as soon as possible, it is now not compulsory until January 2021.
The East and North Herts NHS Trust spokesman said: “We support the principle of free parking for those in greatest need, and the trust is awaiting further guidance from the government about how this would be funded and implemented.”