England

Unison slams Surrey and Sussex NHS over parking charges

A move to charge hospital staff for parking will cause NHS workers financial hardship, a union has said.

Unison has described the plans by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust as a "hammer blow" to its members.

But a statement issued by the trust said the plans would help to cut congestion and encourage "greener" ways of travelling, such as car sharing.

The trust runs two hospitals - East Surrey Hospital in Redhill and Crawley Hospital in West Sussex.

'Real hardship'

Unison said the parking charges would amount to about £295 per year for each worker.

It said that at a time of frozen pay and rising inflation, this came as "another hammer blow" to members, especially low-paid staff, who were traditionally hit hardest by inflation.

A statement from the union said: "Having to find an extra £295 a year will cause real financial hardship for many staff."

The NHS statement said any parking charges would be scaled according to salary, and added that a final decision on the plans would be made by the trust's board.

Unison has called on the trust to abandon the plans and hold talks with unions to agree a car parking strategy that was "both staff and environmentally friendly".

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