The Government announced it would help NHS staff by providing free parking in hospitals for those working through the pandemic earlier this year. At the time of the first lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time. So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.
“My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking, and I urge other trusts to do the same with our backing.
“We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle COVID-19.”
This summer one health minister said free parking couldn’t continue “indefinitely”, but the Government refused to clarify when the scheme would end.
It is understood no provisions have been made by the Government to protect NHS staff from rises in parking fees.
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The Trust changed its mind following public outrage after the revelation, deciding to u-turn on the December price hike introduction.
A spokesperson from the Trust said: “To help us maintain our car parks and provide security staff to patrol these areas, the costs of staff parking permits will increase.
“Revenue from staff parking permits help ensure we can continue to maintain our car parks and equipment and provide security.
“However, in line with NHS policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, this will not be implemented until a later date.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care told Express.co.uk: “During this ongoing global pandemic we are providing the funding for NHS staff to get free hospital parking, meaning staff should not be charged to park.
“From January next year it will become mandatory for hospitals to offer free parking to disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of children staying overnight and staff working night shifts, with thousands of NHS patients, staff and visitors eligible under these rules.”