NHS staff parking charges at Lister to rise threefold

Lister Hospital

Lister Hospital - Credit: Archant

HOSPITAL staff will have to pay up to three times more money to park at work, in a move by an NHS Trust.

Employees based at most East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust hospitals – including Lister – will have to pay more for their parking from July 1.

The new charges, which do not affect patients and visitors, vary according to salary.

Those earning under £9,999 will pay £15 a month – up from the £4.90 they pay now, while at the other end of the scale, those on £100,000 or above will have to pay £70 a month instead of £24.50.

One Lister employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said many staff would be unable to pay the new costs.

“Some people just can’t afford it and are looking to give up their permit and park elsewhere, which means parking in roads and clogging it up,” she said.

“We can’t car share as we all work shifts. And a lot of us are working mums and have to be on call for our children.

Most Read

“People are really worried. We are already on a tight budget, but we have no choice.”

Staff first heard about the move at the start of the month, and were told the Trust was making the move to meet increasing financial pressures.

They were also told it would bring them in line with other Trusts in the country.

But the staff member said: “It doesn’t seem fair that we have to pay to help them get out of this financial mess.

“I know they are saying it brings us in line with other Trusts, but this is our people. We are already suffering.”

Trust chief executive Nick Carver said: “Putting up parking charges, whether for our visitors or staff, is never welcome news. But the changes to staff parking permit charges coming in from July 1 need to be set in the context of the very challenging financial environment facing the NHS - which clearly includes the Trust.

“During 2013/14 the Trust has to find some £19.5 million in savings. We can do this by being ever more efficient, cutting out waste where it is found and seeking to do things differently. The savings we need to make this year come on top of those made in past years - for example in 2012/13 we delivered some £15 million of savings whilst at the same time driving quality standards higher.

“We are also managing significant service change without the need for rounds of redundancies - not something that is the case elsewhere in the NHS at the moment.

“Despite the charges bringing the Trust broadly in to line with those at other NHS organisations locally, we are very aware of the impact that these changes could have for our staff. This is why we have continued to offer payment via a salary sacrifice scheme, which reduces significantly the charge paid by our staff.

“For example someone earning between £10,000 and £21,499 per annum, which includes many nurses, could see their monthly charge reducing from £20.00 down to £13.03 - making the rise in cost much less. The Trust also uses a banded system meaning that the more people earn, the higher the charge made.

“The Trust is also using this opportunity to support those staff who either wish or can consider changing how they get to and from their place of work. We’re now members of the Hertfordshire LiftShare scheme and we’re about to launch two new schemes supporting those who wish to cycle to work, or use local buses instead through providing a salary sacrifice scheme to enable staff to purchase monthly bus passes.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter