NHS and social care staff allowed free car parking during pandemic
Matt Hancock MP is giving immediate financial backing for all NHS Trusts to provide free car parking to NHS staff for the duration of coronavirus.
The government will cover the costs of providing free car parking to NHS staff working in hospitals during this unprecedented time, the Health Secretary has promised.
The announcement comes as the Local Government Secretary has agreed local councils will also offer free car parking to all NHS workers and social care staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
This decision from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will enable NHS and social care staff to carry out their vital work without worrying about paying for car parking.
Health Secretary Matt 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.
“We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle COVID-19.”
NHS Trusts are responsible for setting car parking charges locally and the Health Secretary is urging all Trusts to immediately make use of government funding to abolish parking charges for their staff during.
The DHSC has noted that due to the influx of volunteers and NHS staff coming forwards to help the NHS fight against coronavirus, some hospitals may need additional car parking capacity too.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens commented: “Our NHS staff are working round the clock gearing up to deal with this unprecedented global health threat, which will be a major challenge for health services across the world, and we have listened to what they have told us would make their lives easier.
“Free parking will make a big difference for hundreds of thousands of frontline staff, but this is just the start, and we will setting out further support offers over the coming days and weeks, to ensure the NHS looks after those who look after all of us.”
Under new measures agreed by Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, all councils in England and the Local Government Association critical key workers will also be able to use council parking bays without time restriction or charge.
The changes will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks including pay and display and will suspend charges for health workers, social care workers and NHS volunteers.
Additionally, the Government has confirmed that councils will set up local arrangements so NHS and care workers and volunteers can provide suitable evidence that they can display in their windscreen to ensure they avoid parking tickets.
Many councils have already suspended parking charges for key workers as part of the national effort to tackle coronavirus.
The National Car Parking Group has also confirmed that it will provide NHS staff free parking at all 150 of its car parks in England. Ministers are also urging all businesses and other organisations located near hospitals to work with their local NHS Trusts to consider allowing NHS staff use their car parks.