QE2 Hospital's disabled parking rules 'unfair'
PUBLISHED: 16:51 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:06 26 October 2009
Sir – I wish to reassure R Bailey, WHT Nov 19, that there is more outcry than he realises concerning charging the disabled for parking at our hospitals. I suspect that although WHT accurately reported the changes, the headline Disabled win free
Sir - I wish to reassure R Bailey, WHT Nov 19, that there is more outcry than he realises concerning charging the disabled for parking at our hospitals.
I suspect that although WHT accurately reported the changes, the headline 'Disabled win free parking' may inadvertently, have misled some. I am sure the trust were grateful for that headline since it was their intention that 'publicity would be managed sensitively'.
Following the article, as a carer of a disabled person, I wrote to Mr Carver. I have given copies of that correspondence to the editor.
Although Mr Carver has some comments about access to the QE2 for the disabled that R Bailey may find helpful, there is no intention of altering policy. Unless you are disabled and means-tested poor, if you cannot find a disabled bay you now have to pay.
I am relieved to see that at least renal dialysis patients will receive a concession.
It is, apparently, primarily a matter of equality for all and money. It costs the trust £750,000 per year to run the hospital car parks.
By doing this they expect to raise a further £38,000 a year. A survey on disabled bay usage and a consultation process are given in support of the trust's action. The survey I would describe as superficial. To my surprise, the consultation process seems to have raised little, if any protest, from the charities consulted.
I am well aware that, as stated by the DoH, 'it is entirely for the NHS trusts to determine how they spend their budgets to meet local heath needs'. I am also aware that a minister recently stated on TV that NHS trusts should exercise their discretion in favour of those who need free and discretionary parking. Our trust has chosen not to exercise that discretion.
I am old enough to believe in a health service, free to all at the point of delivery and funded directly by all taxpayers. It is wrong to further tax the disabled and sick. They cannot park far enough away to avoid these charges, albeit to the understandable annoyance of residents.
I hope R Bailey and others affected by the removal of this parking concession will, as I shall. Pursue the matter through other channels.
Jack Fennimore, Oaklea, WGC.
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