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It is only during a crisis that people realise how crucial the NHS is. It seems beyond belief that we make NHS staff pay to work at hospitals where they are literally saving lives. I think that as a reward for saving lives while putting their own lives on the line that the least we can do is give them free parking at their place of work.
9,954 signatures - 17.0% of total
Hospital car parks are free for NHS staff for the duration of pandemic and the Government is delivering on its manifesto commitment to make them free for those in greatest need.
On 25 March, we asked the NHS and local authorities make staff parking free during the pandemic, so they can travel safely and more easily to work. This commitment was further reinforced by the NHS People Plan, published on Thursday 30th July which states that ‘NHS organisations should continue to give their people [ie staff] free car parking at their place of work for the duration of the pandemic’.
The Prime Minister restated this commitment on the 8th July, making clear that parking for NHS staff would continue to be free for the duration of the pandemic.
NHS Trusts employ many thousands of staff and usually have only a proportion of that number in car parking capacity. The reduced patient and visitor traffic to hospitals throughout the pandemic has provided some of the extra capacity needed to support free staff parking. Additional capacity from outside the NHS has also been required to make free staff car parking work during the pandemic.
To help deliver free NHS staff parking, the Local Government Association also committed on 25th March that Local Authority parking spaces would be free for NHS staff to use. The NHS has also worked with commercial car park operators to obtain further capacity for NHS staff. However, even with this additional capacity, some NHS Trusts have struggled to provide parking capacity for all their staff.
As workplaces and city and town centres have seen businesses reopen, we have seen demand for commercial car parks return, so limiting the availability of this extra capacity.
We want the NHS to deliver on the Government's commitment of providing free hospital parking for those in greatest need. This means we are rolling out free parking for disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of children staying overnight and staff working night shifts, which will become mandatory in England from January 2021. The Government recognises that it is not possible to provide free parking for everyone but that these groups have a greater need for hospital parking than others.
We announced that the new exemptions would begin to be rolled out beginning from April 2020 however the full roll-out programme has been delayed due to the pandemic as we prioritised supporting NHS staff with free parking. We expect NHS trusts to implement this commitment over the coming months.
Thousands of NHS patients, staff and visitors will be eligible for free hospital parking under these rules.
Department of Health and Social Care