MP challenges Health minister over hospital parking

JC 171115 health questions

Jo Cox speaking at Health questions

Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox challenged the government today to help the NHS offset the cost of parking charges at hospitals.

In an exchange in the House of Commons, Mrs Cox asked the health minister Ben Gummer if it was fair that NHS trusts were penalising people who are ill or in need of medical attention, and their loved ones, who were having to pay more and more to visit hospitals.

This, she said, was due to government cuts to NHS funding. In response, the minister said the Trust should look at cutting money from elsewhere in its budget.

The Mid Yorkshire trust has raised parking charges at Dewsbury and District Hospital and introduced charges for disabled drivers for the first time.

Mrs Cox added: “I am contacted on a regular basis by constituents outraged about this. It is quite clear just how upsetting and inconvenient parking charges are, not just for those who need to attend the hospital for care or appointments but also for family and friends who are visiting loved.

“New figures suggest that there are now 132 hospitals charging people with blue badges to park. This, and increasing existing charges, is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

“It is true that the trust has suffered from mismanagement in the past but this is not at play in this issue. It is down to how much money the trust gets from the government, which patently is not enough.”

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