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Hospital car parking guidance to reduce charges

Hospitals in England have been told to cut the cost of parking for certain groups under new government guidelines.

Ministers said relatives of people who were seriously ill or had to stay in hospital for a long time should be given free parking or reduced charges.

Concessions should also be offered to people with disabilities and NHS staff whose shift patterns meant they could not use public transport, they said.

Labour accused the coalition of dropping plans to scrap the charges.

Hospital parking policies are set by individual NHS trusts.

The Department of Health guidance made it clear trusts were responsible for the actions of private car parking contractors running facilities on their behalf.

The guidelines also recommended hospitals should use “pay-on-exit” schemes so motorists pay only for the time they use in a hospital car park.

And they say trusts should waive fines if a visitor or patient overstays through no fault of their own, for example because treatment took longer than planned, or when staff have to work beyond their scheduled shift.

Read more in BBC Health.

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