"Car parking fees and their impact"
About: Wythenshawe Hospital Wythenshawe Hospital Manchester M23 9LT
Posted by nickm (as ),
My wife had to be admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital (via A+E) due to a serious infection. This required me to stay for more than 10 hours initially and I subsequently visit every day. I have now obtained a pass for several days and am completely familiar with the car park options available.
The charge for the first 2 hours parking should be zero. After examining the charging structure for parking it would seem that this has been carefully crafted to extract maximum revenue, particularly from the unwary or (understandably) distracted.
Saying that fees have been increased as part of cost-cutting defies any logic since all that has happened is that a larger financial burden has been passed on to the family and friends of the ill. This is simply the application of private-sector principles where the primary consumer of a service (not the taxpayer) pays. This has never been and should not become the ethos of a public service such as the NHS.
On the issue of cost cutting, it is widely accepted that in the first instance this comes from improved productivity (doing the same for less) not by using sly means to shift funding streams around and so effectively keep costs up or even mask a real-terms increase.
In summary, after reviewing some of the NHS core principles I see that it is acknowledged that the visits of friends and relatives helps in the recovery process. The cost of parking a car for the average visit time of 2 hours should be zero. This treats family and friends of the ill and the patients themselves in a compassionate and understanding way while simultaneously stopping abuse by long-stay cheats.
In due course I will be taking this issue further.