NHS staff working for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will NOT have to pay for parking from Friday (April 1), county health chiefs have confirmed
Despite Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to scrap the perk introduced during pandemic for those on the frontline, trust bosses have revealed free parking will remain for staff until at least the end of June.
Free parking for NHS staff was introduced on March 25 2020, two days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the first national lockdown.
Local councils also followed suit as the Government said NHS and social care staff should be able to carry out their vital work without worrying about paying for car parking.
The trust’s decision will cover all of the hospital sites it runs, meaning county NHS staff will not have to worry about fees until at least the summer.
“We informed our staff back in February that free parking for staff across all our hospital sites will be extended until at least the end of June while we review our staff parking policy,” a spokesman said.
Patients and visitors have enjoyed free parking at the county’s hospitals since the peak of the pandemic.
However, with an increase in the numbers of people visiting the site the Trust will reinstate the charges for patients and visitors from Friday (April 1).
The trust’s move comes as Mr Javid’s decision was labelled a ‘slap in the face’ by Dr Hillary Jones and a ‘sick joke’ by members of the GMB union
While the lifeline to those on the frontline in the fight against Covid would end, the Health Secretary said many NHS trusts had chosen to implement free parking for those in ‘greatest need’. This includes front line staff who are working night shifts.
“On behalf of the Government, I would like to record my thanks to everyone who has worked tirelessly to keep people safe over the last two years and whose efforts have enabled us to move to the next stage of the Covid-19 response,” Mr Javid said.