If you have visited a hospital in Essex recently you will have been stung for a huge parking fee. Currently at St. John’s in Chelmsford you have to pay £3 to park for 15 minutes. If you need a daily visit to outpatients then this can amount to £15 per week.
Why do we have to pay? The hospitals are not located close enough to town to tempt shoppers to park for free. If the supermarkets can provide free parking for 2 to 3 hours in the same area, then why do the hospitals feel that they have to charge? St. John’s is quite close to Chelmsford town centre, but Broomfield Hospital charges the same rates and it is only accessible by car or bus. There is nothing else their. In fact, we assumed that the site was chosen because it was out of town and therefore had more room for parking! But we are still expected to pay an arm and a leg to park while receiving treatment or visiting family and friends.
There have been cases of family not being able to afford to visit sick relatives every day due the extortionate parking fees.
What does the money actually pay for? Better facilities in the local area? According to a report by the Liberal Democrats the NHS made over £110 million in parking charges last year and rates have risen further this year.
If you have been affected by the NHS parking fees, let us know your story below.