‘It’s disgraceful to charge those who are critically ill’ – residents speak out on Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s new parking charges

Parking had been free at the hospital during the Covid pandemic, but charges for patients, visitors and staff were reintroduced on Monday.

The price is £3.20 for 30 minutes to an hour. From one to two hours the price is £4.20, from two to four hours £5.50, from four to six hours £6.80 and from six to 24 hours £8.90.

You can also choose a 14-visit pass by paying £27.80.

Residents have criticized the decision to re-introduce parking fees at Royal Chesterfield Hospital.

In addition, the hospital staff will also have to pay for parking, but at a lower price.

This week in Chesterfield town centre, residents criticized the charges as “too expensive”.

Patrick Coughlan, from Chesterfield, said: “People visit others in a hospital to show their love. When you want to show your love to someone, it should be from your heart, not your wallet.”

Deborah Whitworth added: “It’s terrible. Parking must be included in what we pay for the NHS and health care must be provided. I have two appointments in October and I think I shouldn’t be forced to pay for parking.”

Car parking fees have been reintroduced at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Jo Baker, from Chesterfield, said: “It’s disgusting, most people can’t afford it. A few years ago we suddenly had to spend the night with my grandson and the guard allowed us to park for a cheaper price. Otherwise we couldn’t afford it. With the new prices, staying there to visit someone would be too expensive for me.”

John O’Brien of Chesterfield added: “It should be free. What they are charging now is definitely too much.”

Nina Allan, from Dronfield, said: “There was an issue where people parked outside the hospital and headed into town, but that was years ago and it stopped happening. With the new prices no one will visit anyone. It is very expensive.”

Philip O’Gorman, who lives in Winworth, said: “It is shameful to accuse those who are seriously ill, those who take someone injured or sick to hospital or those who visit the terminally ill. It goes against the main principle of the NHS that health care should be free.”

John O’Brien of Chesterfield thinks what the hospital is charging now “is definitely too much”.

Peter Mulcahy, from Chesterfield, said: “Sometimes you have to go to a hospital and wait six hours to be seen. Parking should remain free or at least the money should go directly to the hospital, not to a private company that owns the land. No one who visits someone should pay. And the new prices are too much. People usually spend three to six hours in a hospital, sometimes 12. The staff shouldn’t pay either. It’s terrible and embarrassing.”

Along with the reinstatement of fares, an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system will be introduced to reduce congestion and support the flow of traffic around the site. This means that there will be no entry barriers in the visitor car park.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust has also announced that Parking Charge Notices (PCN) will be introduced “to promote safe and considerate parking”.

Steve Heppinstall, Finance Director of the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust, said: “It was a very difficult decision to reintroduce car parking charges to the Trust, however, without charging, the necessary maintenance work, security and CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition have to be funded by the NHS, which affects the money available for direct patient care.

Patrick Coughlan of Chesterfield believes parking should be free as people visit others in a hospital to show their love.

“During the pandemic our Trust, along with NHS organizations nationwide, received national funding to offer free parking, however this stopped on 31 March 2022.

“A 30-minute grace period will be maintained in all car parks and pick-up/drop-off points will also remain free of charge.”

The hospital confirmed that there will be designated parking for staff and visitors. These are newly defined, starting this week as part of the process.

One of the parking lots, Parking Lot 10, is being divided as part of the transition, meaning it will be used by both staff and visitors.

Deborah Whitworth thinks the new parking fees are terrible.
Chesterfield’s Peter Mulcahy said it is “disgraceful and appalling” to make staff, patients and visitors pay for parking.
Philip O’gorman, who lives in Winworth, thinks it’s shameful to accuse those who are seriously ill.
Royal Chesterfield Hospital

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