On the day when we discover that councils are making record surpluses from parking charges and fines, one hospital is showing a bit of Christmas kindness.
While, in 2012-13, local authorities in England made a “profit” of £594m from parking activities, the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General and Glenfield Hospital are offering free car parking over Christmas.
Ruth Ward, travelwise manager at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “We have sympathy for those who have a loved one in hospital over the festive season. It is our way of trying to make their Christmas Day that little bit more special by providing free parking. After all, it is the season of goodwill.”
Ah, bless. But let’s not get too carried away, because parking will only be free from midnight Tuesday 24 December to midnight Wednesday 25 December 2013. (Don’t try it on at 12.01am whatever you do!)
Goodwill is a case in point in my local hospital – the Norfolk and Norwich. Consultants appear to have lost theirs with a massive, un-negotiated increase in car parking charges for senior staff set to be imposed in 2014.
Forget pension compromise, poor pay rises, CEA reductions, and SPA squeezes. Doctors will stomach most compromises, but mess with their car parking at your peril!
Senior N&N managers are definitely off the Christmas Card list of their key staff – not a very sensible move as winter bites, and very large chunks of goodwill are required to keep services functioning.