Hospitals fail to tell patients of parking discounts

September 7, 2009 | By | In News

Charity finds that too many with long-term illness miss out on free or cheaper visits.

If you’re ill and need to visit hospital regularly, you should get a discount for on-site car parks. But a major charity has found that many hospitals are ignoring Government guidance, which says that they should provide free or cheap parking to patients needing long-term treatment.

The charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, says the system is an ‘appalling, disjointed mess, which causes cancer patients unnecessary financial hardship’. Some patients face up to £40 per week in parking charges.

And even when hospitals do offer concessions, they often fail to tell patients. Macmillan discovered that only one in four cancer patients got free parking, while a further one in five got a discount.

But only one in seven were told about parking concessions in the letter making their first appointment.

The NHS Confederation, which represents hospital trusts, said it was working with the British Parking Association on a charter which would emphasise the need for concessionary schemes, clearly communicated.

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