Scunthorpe MP criticises hospital car park charges rise

Cars parked at Scunthorpe Hospital
Image caption Parking charges have gone up at Scunthorpe and two other hospital in northern Lincolnshire

Scunthorpe's MP has described a rise in car parking fees at the town's hospital as a "tax on illness".

Labour's Nik Dakin said he was supporting a petition by locals calling for the increase in charges to be dropped.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust has raised fees at its three hospitals by 46% (£1.60) for a two-hour stay.

The trust said the rise was needed to pay for improved facilities.

Mr Dakin said the trust faced challenges to pay for improving services but said increasing car parking charges should not be part of the solution.

He said: "I don't believe that now is the appropriate time to increase charges to patients and their families when they are struggling and when they're not very well."

As well as raising all car parking charges, the trust has introduced a £2.50 flat fee for disabled parking.

Nigel Myhill, director of facilities at the trust, said: "The main use of the income generated by car parking charges is to pay for our car park and security service along with the running costs like maintenance and utilities.

"We are seeing an increased security requirement which protects our staff, patients and visitors from violent and aggressive behaviour.

"Surplus income will be used directly for patient care across the organisation."

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