Furious Lincolnshire residents have described the decision to hike car parking charges for hospital staff as “disgusting” and “absolutely diabolical”.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will implement the first staff parking rise since 2012 from December 1, something the union UNISON claims its staff were not consulted on.
Charges for some staff will increase by more than one third, with the cost of a day permit will rise by 20%.
Below is a list of the increase:
The topic generated significant anger when it was first published on Lincolnshire Reporter on the evening of Friday, November 24.
Over the weekend and into this week, the outrage at the decision has continued, with residents questioning why staff who save people’s lives should have to pay for the privilege to park at their place of work.
Posting on Lincolnshire Reporter, Seth Jackson said: “Unbelievable that staff are charged to come to work! I know the NHS is on its knees but this is a ridiculous way of raising cash.”
Debbie Dm agreed, adding: “Charged to park when you are helping people who are sick recover. People who are broken get fixed and people who are dying go peacefully. No pay rise but raised parking charges. Absolutely diabolical.”
Former NHS worker Liz Scott branded the decision “an absolute disgrace”.
She said: “I’m pleased I left the NHS when I did. I worked there in the days when staff were given free parking passes.
“Staff working for a pittance of a wage should not be paying to park their cars simply for doing their job. Disgusting.”
On a similar theme, Carol King added: “Surely this can’t be right? No wonder the NHS is going down the pan and staff are leaving!”
Chrissie Gilbert added: That’s disgusting! No pay rises for years and then this! Way to boost morale of staff at the busiest part of the year!”
‘Staff may be disappointed with news’
The trust in charge of the county’s hospitals has acknowledged that the decision is not popular.
ULHT’s director of estates and facilities Paul Boocock said: “These difficult times have led to difficult decisions needing to be made by our trust board.
“We appreciate that some staff may be disappointed with this news but we had to make the difficult choice to introduce these charges rather than reduce patient services.
“This increase puts prices in line with local government rate increases but still below most other trusts. Rates will still be less than £1 a working day for most staff.
“There hasn’t been an increase in charges since 2012 yet there has been an increase in the costs of running the service.
“Moreover, ULHT has paid the VAT for staff, and not passed this on.
“This means that over the last few years, ULHT has been subsidising the real cost of the trust providing car parking service and not passing it onto staff.
“As we are now in financial special measures we need to address this balance.”