New car parking charges for patients and visitors were today introduced at hospital sites across Northumberland and North Tyneside.
The changes have been made following repeated reports that some car parks – especially at The Northumbria hospital – are being misued by the public as a cheap long-stay alternative when they go on holiday or shopping.
From today, parking at Northumbria Healthcare sites costs:
0-20 minutes– Free
20 minutes-1 hour – £2
1-2 hours – £3
2-3 hours – £4
3-4 hours – £5
24 hours – £6
Les Morgan, interim director of estates and facilities at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We know that attending hospital can be a stressful time so we need to make parking as straight-forward and easy to use as possible, which is why we have introduced consistent pricing across our sites.
“Car parking charges at Northumbria Healthcare remain among the lowest in the NHS and are used to cover the cost of maintaining/ securing the hospital car parks.
“All additional revenue generated beyond this is reinvested directly into patient care and developing local services, ensuring our patients continue to receive the very best care.”
Blue (disabled) badge holders will continue to receive free parking. Disabled bays are located outside the barrier-controlled car parks and blue badge holders should display a valid blue badge in the windscreen of their vehicle.
If blue badge holders need to park inside the barrier-controlled car parks, they should take their parking entry ticket and valid blue badge into the department they are visiting/attending to receive a ticket which allows them to exit free of charge.
Free parking will continue to be provided in a number of circumstances such as patients attending for cancer treatment, with eight dedicated car parking bays provided as part of the overall scheme, and the visitors of long-stay patients. Patients and visitors should speak to ward managers about this.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s parking system allows patients and visitors to pay on exit.