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Patients and visitors must pay to park at Tamworth's Sir Robert Peel Hospital

By HelenMachin  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

Sir Robert Peel Hospital

Sir Robert Peel Hospital

Comments (5)

PATIENTS and visitors will have to pay to park at Sir Robert Peel Hospital from April, it has  been announced.

Even disabled people who are blue badge holders will have to pay, in a move which comes just eight months after hospital bosses vowed there were no plans to charge visitors or patients.

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust began charging staff and doctors parking fees at the site in July last year and claim that the new move is to bring charges in line with those across the Trust's other sites which include Samuel Johnson Hospital, Lichfield and Queen's Hospital in Burton.

The charges will begin at 80p for up to half-an-hour with a £2 for up to an hour, with payments rising to a maximum of £6 for between seven and 24 hours.

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A new number plate recognition system will operate on the Plantation Lane site which will require people to enter their vehicle registration number into a payment machine during their visit and pay the required fee.

Tony Waite, Director of Finance at Burton Hospitals, said: "We have introduced new charging arrangements to improve car park arrangements for patients and visitors and to prevent the abuse of the car park by for example, people who use our spaces when going into Sutton Coldfield by bus.

"We will be checking the car park seven days a week for those abusing the car park to the detriment of patients and visitors. There will be a charge of £70, which will be reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days, for anyone who breaches the terms and conditions in our parking areas."

The Trust says it routinely reviews its pricing structure for car parking in line with similar sized hospitals in the region to ensure the rates compare favourably.

Mr Waite added: "Even though the introduction of payment tariffs does represent an increase in the cost to patients and visitors, we are confident our charges remain favourable when compared to other Trusts in the region."

There will be exemptions for certain groups of patients with long-term conditions and concessionary rates, weekly and monthly passes, will also continue to be available.

he introduction of parking charges will not apply to people using the George Bryan Centre and special arrangements have been made to ensure they are not charged.

Mr Waite added: "We endeavour to keep parking fees as low as possible for patients, visitors and staff. However, we need to ensure the creation and maintenance of parking spaces does not impact on the finances allocated for direct patient care for our hospitals which treat over 400,000 patients a year."

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5 comments

  • CllrChris  |  February 26 2013, 9:42PM

    Look at the way they sneaked that one in! No consultation, no asking. They knew what short shrift they would get. That's what you get when you give too much power to unaccountable people in their petty positions of power in such Governmental organisations. Tamworth people deserve - and need - much better than this Noddy Hospital. We have been badly misled and let down. It's not even in Tamworth for Heaven's sakes!

    |   12
  • OscarOneThree  |  February 26 2013, 8:32PM

    Becca, You are right. This hospital is far from what we were promised. It's not as if it is a major trauma centre, or even a district general hospital.

    |   10
  • OscarOneThree  |  February 26 2013, 8:12PM

    Abominate, Once again we are faced with an organisation, that is prepared to charge patients, and relatives, who at times of distress, are to be forced to consider the cost of attending a NHS hospital. How has all this come about? We pay vast amounts of tax to fund these organisations, and it seems the clinical care of patients, and the humane treatment of relatives, is coming second to the large salaries of managers. I have personally had to attend eight hospitals in the Midlands in the last five years, for in, and outpatient treatment. I have usually had to be accompanied by a family member, and the parking fees have amounted to hundreds of pounds. I even had to pay to park whilst attending a mortuary to identify a deceased relatives body. Is it not time we put taxpayers money where it is needed, instead of wasting it on multi million pound projects that are usually doomed to failure. For instance the £50 million estimated loss to the taxpayer as a result of the train franchise cock up.

    |   11
  • Bekka  |  February 26 2013, 7:51PM

    There used to be 2 hospitals in Tamworth, now we have none ... Well a little drop in centre, but that is in no way a hospital. And the NHS Foundation(less) (anti)Trust want people to pay to park now, It's just the continuation of the dismantling of the NHS ... But then we're just plebs who should know our place.

    |   13
  • Abominate  |  February 26 2013, 3:25PM

    This is outrageous and staff, visitors and patients should not have to pay to visit or work in the hospital. This is the back end of privatisation- to squeeze every last penny out of NHS clients and employees. How long before ambulances are charged to use the facility to drop off patients? The fees are outrageous and unnecessary. The problem of people using the car park to travel by bus to other locations could be easily solved without outrageous fees. You could have a parking attendant, charge a nominal £1 or £2, which most people would not find unreasonable to fund their wages, or a closed barrier system (which could easily be programmed to open automatically if an ambulance approaches) which can only be opened by inserting a token into the machine, retrievable only from the medical professional or receptionist you see. One can only assume this is a money making exercise, and I call on Labour politicians, national and local to withdraw these fees nationwide. How free is our NHS at the point of delivery if we have to pay a fee to attend an NHS site?

    |   16

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