South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust will be acting on government guidelines on hospital parking.
The Trust are in the process of installing a new pay on exit system for patients and visitors at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, helping them only pay for the time they use, and not up front as they do now. Next year, they intend to develop a multi-storey car park at Royal Lancaster Infirmary to ensure that all patients and visitors can find a space when they need it.
In August Ministers said that relatives of people who were seriously ill or had to stay in hospital for a long time should be given free parking or reduced charges. Tim has asked if that will be brought in by the Morecambe Bay Trust.
But it is unclear if these are covered by the new announcement by the Trust and Tim is pressing for clarification.
The Department of Health guidance also made it clear that Trusts were responsible for the actions of private car parking contractors running facilities on their behalf. They said trusts should waive fines if a visitor or patient overstays through no fault of their own, for example because treatment took longer than planned, or when staff have to work beyond their scheduled shift.
Tim said: "I think that hospital parking charges are a stealth tax on healthcare. I welcome Morecambe Bay's announcement and its good news they are working on this issue. I hope that they adopt all of the Government's guidelines and help more patients and their families. I will continue to work to convince them on this issue in the weeks ahead."
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