Victory for NHS workers as parking charges are AXED at hospitals

Victory for NHS workers as parking charges are AXED at hospitals after outcry that doctors and nurses had to pay to fight coronavirus

  • Matt Hancock announced he would cover cost of hospital parking for NHS staff
  • Funds to allow NHS Trusts to waive parking fees for those on COVID-19 frontline
  • LGA agreed scheme to provide parking for NHS staff in car parks and on-street
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Parking charges have been axed for NHS workers at hospitals after a nationwide outcry that doctors and nurses had to pay to fight the coronavirus pandemic.   

Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged to provide immediate financial backing to all NHS Trusts to allow them to waive car parking fees for NHS staff for the ‘duration of COVID-19’.  

The government has also agreed a scheme with the Local Government Association to provide free parking for NHS staff, volunteers and social care workers in car parks and on-street.   

Mr Hancock said: ‘Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time.

‘So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.

‘My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.’  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) revealed the Government would cover the cost of car parks for NHS staff at hospitals

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 9,500 people in Britain to date, with 465 deaths reported as a result of the virus. 

The LGA added it was also urging councils to waive all fines received by health and social care workers while carrying out their extended duties in recent days. 

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: ‘Already, many councils have suspended parking charges in council-run car parks and for on-street parking and have waivered all fines on appeal for critical workers.

‘Councils agree and have worked with government to develop this scheme that now means no health worker, social care worker or anyone volunteering for the NHS, should have to pay parking charges as they tackle the coronavirus and support communities.

‘These critical workers are all doing vital and highly-valued work to support the most vulnerable in our society and councils want to do all they can to support them.’

The charges suspension will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks including pay and display.

Adele Buttress, a transplant nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, had earlier revealed her ‘disgust’ when she was ticketed (pictured) after finishing a shift on Monday

Councils will set up local arrangements so NHS and care workers and volunteers can provide suitable evidence they can display in their windscreen to ensure they avoid tickets.

Local councils will continue to carry out parking enforcement to ensure the public are kept safe and that the roads remain clear for emergency and essential services.

The National Car Parking Group also confirmed it will provide NHS staff free parking at all 150 of their car parks in England.      

Many hospitals across Britain may require additional car parking capacity after 405,000 volunteers stepped up to boost the NHS in just 24 hours following a government appeal. 

Mr Hancock last night asked for volunteers to carry out tasks such as ferrying patients to hospital and bringing food and medicine to those isolated. 

The Prime Minister today hailed the response from the public after the target number of 250,000 was smashed in less than 24 hours. 

Boris Johnson said he wanted to give a ‘special thanks’ to those who had come forward.   

Piers Morgan promised to pay parking tickets for NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis

Kirstie Allsopp, known as co-presenter of Channel 4 property shows including Location, Location, Location, was appearing as a guest on the show and said she would ‘go halves’ with Mr Morgan

‘Our NHS staff and social care workers are working round the clock to save lives and should not have to worry about the cost or time restrictions of parking,’ Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick added.

‘Which is why, I’ve agreed with the LGA and councils in England to provide free car parking, on council owned on-street spaces and car parks.

‘By working together we are able to support these heroes as they play a front line role in our national effort to tackle the coronavirus crisis.’ 

It comes after Piers Morgan promised to pay parking charges for NHS workers as it emerged medics were being fined at hospital car parks.  

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Mr Morgan asked why traffic wardens – who he said were ‘top of [his] list’ for non-essential workers – are operating when the Government has ordered a lockdown across the country with only a few key workers exempt. 

‘A friend of mine sent me a parking ticket, given to a friend of hers delivering food to the elderly on an estate,’ Mr Morgan said. ‘Two parking wardens in plain clothes in a white car, no mask, going around giving people tickets. A few of them were doing deliveries to the elderly and the vulnerable.’ 

He questioned if it was the case that wardens were acting in ‘the national interest right now’ by ‘nicking people as they deliver goods to the elderly and vulnerable.’ 

The GMB host then pledged to pay parking fines for NHS workers and take them up with the government.  

Adele Buttress, a transplant nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, had earlier revealed her ‘disgust’ when she was ticketed after finishing a shift on Monday. 

And an NHS medical director, Dr Mehdi Veisi, was given a parking ticket while helping in the battle against COVID-19. 

Dr Mehdi Veisi  (pictured) was shocked to finish work to find a fine notice placed on the windscreen of his car – right next to his NHS emergency badge

Ms Buttress’ ticket was written a short while after 6pm – hours before the UK’s lockdown came into effect. She has now said she has been told that parking fees for staff at Nottingham University Hospital are being waived, but was still waiting to see if her fine on Monday would be revoked. 

In North London, Dr Veisi was shocked to finish work to find a fine notice placed on the windscreen of his car – right next to his NHS emergency badge.

The medical director for Barnet, Enfield, and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust took his complaint to Twitter where he told others he doesn’t have the time to fight the ticket and so will have to pay.

In a sarcastic message to the Haringey Council he said: ‘Thank you Haringey Council for giving me a ticket whilst I’m fighting COVID-19.

‘You could see my NHS emergency badge too. Nicely done. Instead of saving patients, now I need to appeal a ticket. Get your priorities right for NHS staff.’ 

A spokesperson for Haringey Council said: ‘We contacted the doctor soon after he received the fine and have now cancelled it.

‘We want to thank him, and all of the UK’s fantastic NHS workers, for the brave work they are doing in tackling COVID-19.’ 

Britain has been locked down to help fight the spread of coronavirus – which has now infected more than 8,200 people in the UK and killed around 437.

The medical director for Barnet, Enfield, and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust took his complaint to Twitter

‘Key workers’ – whose work is vital to maintaining public health and safety such as doctors, police, firemen, and utility workers – are permitted to continue their crucial duties, but traffic wardens are categorised as civil enforcement, meaning it varies.

Ashford Borough Council has now allocated traffic wardens to community duties during the coronavirus emergency. The wardens will continue to punish significant parking violations, but council chiefs have now dropped standard fining procedures.

But Piers Morgan said he had witnessed ‘people at hospitals, nurses and doctors, who are getting parking tickets for overstaying their stay’, and asked why crucial health workers were not yet exempt from car park fees.  

Mr Morgan pledged to cover the costs of parking fines for health workers as the Covid-19 crisis carries on – and pledged to ‘go to the government and have the battle’ on their behalf.

‘I will say now to any health worker during the future of this crisis, however long it lasts, if any of you get a parking ticket at a hospital where you’re working, I will pay it for you,’ he said.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Piers Morgan asked ‘What is it about Sports Direct that they don’t get that doing something for your country doesn’t mean fleecing people?’

Speaking about the Wetherspoon boss, Piers Morgan said: ‘Why don’t you just shut up as well? We’ve had enough of you telling everyone to go to the pub’

‘I will pay it and I will then go to the government and have the battle, you don’t get involved.

‘Send it in to Good Morning Britain and I will pay the parking ticket if that is what it takes.’

Kirstie Allsopp, known as co-presenter of Channel 4 property shows including Location, Location, Location, was appearing as a guest on the show and said she would ‘go halves’ with Mr Morgan. 

The Scottish Government has since announced car parking charges will be axed at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, from March 30. 

It is one of only three Scottish hospitals where parking is ticketed, with the facility run by private company Saba.

Despite being welcomed, questions have been raised about why the measures cannot be put in place immediately.

North East Scotland Labour MSP Jenna Marra said: ‘It’s good news, however, I don’t know why there has to be a delay.

‘I’m calling on Saba to make this immediate and cease all parking charges from today.

‘It’s not just about the charges for workers that are putting themselves on the frontline, it’s also about hygiene and use of the machines.’  

‘That is bang out of order, you should be at home!’: Angry father confronts traffic warden giving motorists tickets outside hospital during coronavirus lockdown 

A parking warden has been slammed for giving people tickets outside a hospital during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The warden had been doing his rounds at a hospital in Stevenage and was seen putting a ticket on a vehicle parked outside the hospital.

The warden, who works for Stevenage Borough Council claimed he was ‘only doing his job’ after a passer by spotted him handing out the ticket outside Lister Hospital.

Outraged Kieran Tompsett had been at the hospital to see the birth of his daughter on Monday when he witnessed the unnamed man giving out tickets. 

As he left the hospital he gave the bumbling warden a piece of his mind. 

Kieran Tompsett (pictured above with his wife Katie) had been at the hospital to see the birth of his daughter on Monday when he witnessed the unnamed man giving out tickets

So far in the UK there have been 424 deaths and 8,077 confirmed cases of Covid-19. 

In an expletive laden video Kieran says: ‘What are you doing working, giving out tickets in this current climate? Are you having a laugh mate?’ 

The man replies that he works for Stevenage Borough Council.

Kieran replies: ‘Behave, get yourself off home. You are taking the f****** p***. ‘Mate that is bang out of order. I’ve seen tickets down there. 

‘You should be at home.’ 

Kieran pictured above with his little boy questioned why the warden was giving out tickets in the current climate

The man replied and said he knew he should be at home but that ‘it’s the council’.  

Kieran then tells him that he shouldn’t be putting tickets on cars in the current climate and the warden asks him to not blame him for the situation. 

Sharing the video on Facebook, Kieran wrote: ‘This is DISGUSTING! I just caught him putting tickets on cars, not my car I might add, outside the LISTER HOSPITAL of all places! ‘Council should be ashamed, everyone’s being careful with money , yet it’s acceptable to do this NO ITS NOT!’ 

Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor later announced that they had stopped giving people tickets parking outside the hospital. 

Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor (pictured above) later announced that they had stopped giving people tickets parking outside the hospital

She wrote: ‘We want to do all we can to help our NHS heroes at this difficult time for them so we will be removing the parking charges on Coreys Mill Lane for at least 3 months. 

‘If you are NOT an NHS key worker please think hard about whether you need the space more than they do, you may need them to save your life or one of your family. Stay Home, Protect Our NHS, Save Lives.’ 

Kieran added: ‘I don’t blame the guy at all and sorry for my foul language. It’s his job unfortunately, but common sense and a bit of compassion would be good right now. 

‘However, he could have said to his boss, do you think it’s wise giving tickets out at the hospital right now? 

‘What would that achieve, how would that go down, not well, and more important than all of those is, don’t you think those people in the hospital right now at the most worrying time could do without that ? Most people would agree!’ 

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