Telford MP, Lucy Allan, yesterday called on the Government to abolish hospital car parking charges.
Speaking in a Backbench debate in the House of Commons, Ms Allan raised concerns about the use of the private parking contractor, CP Plus, at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital, as well as the steady increase in parking costs for patients and visitors at the hospital since the publication of Government guidance in 2014.
Ms Allan noted that many of her constituents “cannot just hop on a bus, jump on a tube or walk to the local hospital”, due to poor public transport in Telford and, as such, have no choice but to pay these high costs.
She also said that there is little appetite among hospital management to deal with this, and that they looks at the issue and say “It is not our problem” or “it is too difficult to fix”. And that this means “we end up accepting” these high charges, “rather than solving” them.
Ms Allan concluded by calling on the Government and the NHS to “not brush this off as a non-issue”, and “try to see it through the eyes of others and tackle the issue that is facing everyday users of our hospitals”.
This is not the first time that Ms Allan has spoken out on this issue. In 2014, she met with the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to discuss proposed increases in parking costs at Princess Royal, and since her election, has campaigned with Harlow MP, Rob Halfon, for Government intervention.
Ms Allan hopes that yesterday's debate, and the coverage it will receive in the press, will generate momentum ahead of the Second Reading of the 'Hospital Car Parking Charges (Abolition) Bill' in March 2018.
You can watch proceedings of the debate at: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/939bd354-3def-4490-92f4-0cecdd56e9…
You can find out more about Mr Halfon's forthcoming bill at: https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/hospitalcarparkingchargesa…
In her speech yesterday, Ms Allan said:
"I want to see the Government and Hospital managers sit up and take note.
"This is something that can be fixed, and that can make a real difference to the everyday lives of hospital patients and those who most need our health services."
And reflecting after the debate:
"As I have said before, there is public appetite for a change, and I hope we can harness this growing support and use it as a vehicle towards abolishing or, at the very least, reforming these unfair charges."
“I hope that Hospital Trusts and the Government learn from this debate and don’t dismiss it as a non-issue - it is not a non-issue and it really matters to the most vulnerable people in our society.”
My speech is available to read at: https://goo.gl/7JAV7w or, alternatively, you can download it below.
|Lucy Allan - Hospital Parking Speech.doc||216.5 KB|