Labour MP calls on government to intervene over 'disgusting' 200% rise in parking fees for NHS staff

NHS staff outside King's College Hospital in Camberwell, south London, join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
NHS staff clapping outside King's College Hospital in London, which is reportedly set to raise its parking fees. (Getty)

A Labour MP has called on the government to act over reports some NHS staff could face a 200% rise in parking fees.

It comes after the Mail on Sunday reported that staff at London’s Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will see their annual parking permit charges rise by as much as 200%.

New permits will cost doctors and nurses at the trust up to £1,440, with the changes reportedly taking effect from the beginning of December.

Richard Burgon, the former shadow justice secretary under Jeremy Corbyn, called the price hikes “disgusting” and urged the government to intervene.

DUDLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Richard Burgon, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor addresses the audience during the last Labour Party Deputy Leadership hustings at Dudley Town Hall on March 08, 2020 in Dudley, England. Ian Murray, Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Dawn Butler are vying to become Labour's deputy leader following the departure of Tom Watson, who stood down in November last year. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Richard Burgon called the proposed changes "disgusting". (Getty)

Burgon tweeted: “NHS staff shouldn't be charged for parking at work.

“That many doctors and nurses now face a 200% increase is a disgrace. We owe our fantastic NHS staff so much.

“The government must step in and guarantee free hospital parking.”

Labour councillor Tris Osbourne also tweeted: “NHS staff shouldn't be charged for parking at work.

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“That many doctors and nurses now face a 200% increase is a jaw-droppingly tone deaf.”

The government pledged in their December 2019 election manifesto to provide free parking for some patients and staff on their night shifts.

In the email from the Kings College Trust to staff, the hospital’s management claim the move has prompted privately run car parking companies to pass on the cost to daytime NHS workers.

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The tust is also reportedly planning to slash its current discount scheme, including half-price passes for part-time workers and a discount for senior staff.

Yahoo News UK has contacted the Department of Health for comment.

Parking has been made free for NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic but in July health secretary Matt Hancock said free parking would be limited to "key patient groups and NHS staff in certain circumstances".

In an exchange in the House of Commons in July, Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the prime minister to keep free parking - but Johnson refused to rule out bringing charges back in for hospital staff.

He told Starmer: “May I suggest he takes his latest bandwagon and parks it somewhere else.”

Johnson added: “The hospital car parks are free for NHS staff during the pandemic, and we are going to get on with our manifesto commitment to make them free for patients who need them as well.”