4 January 2010
Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'We are delighted that the Government has finally listened to our repeated calls and is now looking at giving free parking for all cancer patients. At long last the Westminster Government has acknowledged the high cost to patients and it is time they abolished these charges once and for all in England.
'A recent poll by Macmillan showed that eight out of ten people want the Government to abolish hospital parking charges for cancer patients.
'Hospitals save £6,000 by delivering a 6-week course of radiotherapy on an out-patient basis - money which could, and should, be used to help all cancer patients with the cost of parking.
'We hope that the consultation will result in the lifting of a great financial burden for cancer patients. Charging people to visit hospital to receive life-saving treatment has caused needless distress for far too long and is nothing more than a tax on illness.'
Back in September, Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced that car parking charges for all inpatients would be scrapped over a three year period.
Tomorrow he will be setting out the options to provide fairer hospital car parking to patients in a public consultation.
When people are coming in to hospital, the last thing they want to worry about is car parking.
Our priority is continuing improvement in frontline services by focussing on what matters most to patients. It’s the small things as well as the big things that makes a difference to patients’ experience of the NHS.
We want hospital car parking charges that are fair for patients – this consultation explores a wide range of options, not only suggesting free access for inpatients, but looking at benefits for outpatients.
We want to make sure that we get views from those that this affects directly; patients and their friends and families.
The consultation looks at giving all inpatients free hospital car parking for their visitors, or only after a long stay.
For outpatients, the consultation explores giving access to free parking for those who need to attend a series of appointments, or placing a cap on charges for priority outpatient groups who attend regular hospital appointments.
The eight week consultation will close on 23 February 2010 and views on the proposals are welcome from the public, patients, the NHS and stakeholders.
All trusts should already have concessionary schemes for patients who visit hospital regularly to allow reduced price or free parking. Trusts are responsible for ensuring that eligible patients are aware of concessionary schemes.
The average charge for hospital car parking per hour in England is £1.09 for 2008/09.
Boot out car parking charges in England
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