Petition to scrap parking charges for NHS staff launched by St Neots man
- Credit: Archant
A 77-year-old man from St Neots has launched a petition to scrap parking charges for NHS staff saying it is a “kick in the teeth” for their hard work.
Terry Cooper, from Eaton Ford, is calling on local residents, councillors and hospital workers to support his campaign - which has got dozens of signatures in less than 24 hours.
The grandfather felt compelled to make a difference after the Government announced that NHS workers would have to start paying for parking at their own hospitals again as the Covid-19 crisis starts to ease.
Hefty costs could see staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge pay daily charges of more than £20.
Currently at Hinchingbrooke Hospital patients, visitors and staff do not have to pay for car parking.
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Mr Cooper has also forwarded his petition to medical professionals across the county.
He said: “The government’s decision to re-introduce parking fees for NHS staff is a kick in the teeth after all the hard work and sacrifice they have made.
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“The hypocrisy of a government that claps for the NHS then adds insult to this by a financial burden shows a total lack of care, compassion and empathy.
“We have been doing the clap for carers every week and Boris nearly died - yet now they are going to bring the car parking charges back for NHS staff.
“I think it is appalling and no other profession has to face this.”
Doctors, nurses, carers and support staff in England have been allowed to park at their workplace for free since the start of lockdown thanks to funding from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
But ministers have now confirmed they intend to reintroduce charges because the emergency measures “cannot continue indefinitely”.
Graham Wilde, chief operating officer for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke, Peterborough City and Stamford and Rutland Hospitals, said: “The trust suspended parking charges at the end of March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic began.
“Like other NHS Trusts, we have been supported by the Government with funding to offset the loss of income from parking charges.
“This is used to pay for the upkeep of our car parks and any surplus is used to directly support patient care.
“We are reviewing our arrangements for car parking charges as the Government funding is coming to an end. We hope to update our car park users as soon as possible on any possible changes to the current circumstances.”
Mr Cooper said his compassion for the work of the NHS comes after he has been in and out of hospitals in the area after moving to Huntingdonshire more than 40 years.
“I have always been very strong with social justice throughout my life because I believe that people power does work,” he added.
To sign the petition visit: https://community.sumofus.org/petition/6b2e8964-b494-469f-b2db-e9a3aa50f9a8/?source=mlt