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Friday, 20 April 2018

Anger at increases in hospital staff car parking charges in King's Lynn

Written by Alan Jones

Increases in a hospital's car parking charges for staff will wipe out a proposed NHS pay rise, according to a union.

Unite expressed anger at an announcement of increases for patients, visitors and staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn from June.

The union said many staff faced a doubling of charges to park at the hospital by 2020, which it added would wipe out a proposed pay rise currently being considered by NHS workers across the country.

Unite officer Mark Robinson said: "Hard-working staff at King's Lynn are faced with swingeing rises to park their car for work, which is a necessity for many because of poor public transport provision in Norfolk, especially at nights and weekends.

"These increases will wipe out the gains in the current NHS pay package which will see most staff get a pay rise of 6.5% over the next three years.

"We are calling on the trust board when it next meets on May 29 to urgently reconsider the punitive nature of these parking charges. NHS staff should not be used as milch cows by trust managements under pressure because of a lack of central funding for the NHS by government."

The local NHS Trust said staff on the lowest pay will see parking fees rise by £1.02 a month in the first year, with increases rising according to earnings.

Consultants and executive directors will pay £19.04 a month more.

Jon Green, the Trust's chief executive said: "Increases to car parking charges are never going to be popular but these rises have become necessary as a traffic management measure driven by both the current pressure our car park is under and in planning for the anticipated increase in attendances expected over the next three years.

"We are increasing the number of spaces where we can, and the Trust needs to both create capacity for parking on site and continue to strongly encourage more patients and visitors to use public transport.

"Whilst acknowledging that public transport is not a viable option for many, we are keen to point out that there are more than 100 visits each weekday to the on-site stop by bus services."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Chris Radburn / PA Wire.