HOSPITAL car parking charges are offensive.
Self-serving, self-righteous, weasel words from an NHS spokesman will neither change that nor justify such charges.
Car parking facilities are as much a part of the intrinsic facilities supporting patient care as are facilities such as corridors, seats and washrooms.
It may well be that city centre hospitals need some mechanism to prevent non-hospital users from abusing parking facilities. However, there are other ways of dealing with that problem.
In any event, Leighton is in the middle of the countryside and not subject to non-user problems. Neither is the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich likely to have such a problem.
However in the case of Victoria Infirmary, the legality of such charges is in doubt. As I understand, it the land was donated to the people of the district on the condition that no such charges would ever be applied.
This situation applies to much of the land in the area which I also understand is the reason why Sainsbury’s had to abandon their futile attempt to apply parking charges.
The Hospital Trust is aware of this but the spokesman made no attempt to address this issue.
Until this issue is resolved, I assume the charges at Victoria Infirmary are simply voluntary – in the same way that my quarterly donations to St Luke’s Hospice are voluntary.