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 pledged today.
It 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.
In the face of this global pandemic it is essential NHS and social care staff are able to carry out their vital work without worrying about paying for car parking. Government is rightly committing to providing the financial backing NHS Trusts need to make this a reality in hospitals for the duration of this viral outbreak.
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 Covid-19 pandemic.
‘The Health Secretary Matt Hancock and NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens both also praised those NHS Trusts who are already providing free car parking to staff working tirelessly on the frontline.’
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said:
‘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.
‘Following an incredible response from volunteers and retired NHS staff coming forwards to work on the frontline, some hospitals may also require additional car parking capacity.’
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.