Parking charges return for King’s Lynn hospital staff

Hard-pressed Queen Elizabeth Hospital workers are being hit with a fresh financial challenge with the return of staff parking charges this week, UNISON warns today.

NHS trusts in England stopped charging staff to park during the Covid-19 pandemic and many have kept parking free since then. Free parking is also available for hospital staff in Scotland and Wales.

But the Queen Elizabeth Hospital brought charges back this week starting at £11 a month for healthcare assistants and cleaning staff but rising to £22 for an experienced nurse, up to a maximum of £35 for those on £114,949 or over, says UNISON.

The deduction means some staff will be on less than the minimum wage, warns the union.

Charges were brought in on Monday, the day NHS staff should have received their 2024 pay rise, but the government is yet to even make an offer, says UNISON.

The trust announced its plans to reintroduce charges last year. More than 1,500 workers signed a UNISON petition against the fees, but hospital bosses have still driven plans through, says the union.

UNISON QEH branch secretary Sharon Howlett said: “Many NHS staff are really struggling to get by, the last thing they need is a new charge on coming to work.

“Public transport simply isn’t an option for most workers at QEH, they’ll have no choice but to pay these parking fees.

“QEH should follow the example in Scotland and Wales and do away with parking charges.”