Medway Maritime Hospital raises car parking charges by 10% and charges are reintroduced for NHS staff
A hospital is set to increase parking fees for visitors and patients by 10% early next month and reintroduce fees for NHS staff.
From 1 October the cost of a four hour stay at Medway Maritime in Gillingham will increase from £4 to £4.40 – other prices will increase by the same percentage.
The trust says it is to cover rising car park maintenance costs and is the first change to its rates since 2014.
Although the changes will apply to all visitors and patients, some dealerships have been listed as exceptions.
Patients will receive free parking if they are receiving end-of-life care, receiving cancer treatment, and/or visiting the hospital for an appointment at least three times a month for at least three months .
Official volunteers will also not be charged, as well as parents who stay with children under 16, who can stay for free between 7am and 7pm.
Visitors will be offered a flat weekly fee of £10.50 if they are parents or carers of an oncology patient or an intensive or special care patient.
“Car park maintenance costs have increased, which has led us to make this very difficult decision”
Those who see relatives who have been hospitalized for more than seven days can also apply for this reduced rate.
Anyone attending an outpatient clinic and red badge holders can have their parking fee reduced to £2.
All preferential rates are subject to the terms and conditions explained on the hospital’s website.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Medway Maritime Hospital said: “We have resisted parking fee increases for a number of years, but the costs associated with car park maintenance have increased, which led us to make this very difficult decision.
“The income the trust receives from parking helps us pay for the maintenance and improvement of our parking lots; any excess beyond that is reinvested by the trust to support patient care.”
Staff will also be charged for using the car park for the first time since Covid hit.
NHS trusts received temporary central government funding to pay for staff parking during the pandemic – something that was withdrawn in March.
Jayne Black, chief executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: “After government funding for staff parking ended in March, we continued to temporarily provide free parking for staff, but knew we had to make the decision. difficult to reinstate charges.
“The trust will partially subsidize the cost of parking, so many employees will pay a lower amount than before the pandemic, while some employees with higher incomes will pay a little more.
“Additionally, the trust is offering free bus travel to all staff within a two-mile radius of our site.”
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has also said it will reintroduce parking charges for hospital staff from October 1.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We have spoken to colleagues about the benefits which they appreciate and although charges resume next month the trust is subsidizing the cost so the majority of staff are paying a much lower amount per compared to pre-pandemic rates.
“We have also increased the free bus service for staff traveling to our sites.”