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Headway featured in national press calling for end of hospital car parking charges Main Image

Headway featured in national press calling for end of hospital car parking charges

Fri 15 Jun 2018

Headway has featured in another Daily Express story calling for an end to hospital car park charges.

The story, which ran on the paper’s front page, concerns Brian Akers who died hours after leaving a hospital car park because he did not have any spare change to put in a meter.

His heartbroken daughter Kerry Akers claims the “stealth tax” killed him and wants his legacy to be an end to the punitive fees.

Headway provided a lengthy comment for the piece.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association, said: “On the face of it Kerry’s story is heartbreaking. When someone requires urgent hospital care the cost of parking should never become a barrier or hindrance.

"At Headway we know that brain injury often strikes without any warning and the effects can be life-threatening.

"When this happens families are anxious to be close to their loved ones especially they have been told to stay close because they may have difficult decisions to make.

"Sadly, every day our Emergency Fund hears from desperate families who are struggling to meet the costs of hospital parking.

"If the person that has sustained the brain injury is self-employed the families income can be significantly affected or even come to a halt.  

"What must it be like just a few hours after the police have informed you that a loved one had been injured to realise you cannot afford the cost of being at their bedside?

"Recently, we supported a family who had spent more than £1,500 in parking charges in just 15 weeks. They needed to be at the bedside of their son who was fighting for his life.

"What parent wouldn’t want to be there, day and night? Yet they were faced with a huge bill.

"We also supported a woman whose partner was left in a coma after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in quad bike accident.

"She was driving 80 miles a day and spending £29 each visit on parking to simply be there for her partner.

"Due to the complex nature of brain injury, there are often no definitive timescales of recovery, how can people be expected to budget when they don’t know how long their life will be put on hold for?

"In another case, one woman we were supporting was so desperate, and in such financial problems, that we contacted a local church to see if she could use its car park instead of incurring the high costs of the hospital.

"How can a situation like this exist when we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world? It is a truly harrowing situation.

"These charges are driving already hard pressed families into debt and despair at a time when they already have more than enough to cope with.

"We completely understand how much financial pressure the NHS is under and so it is time for the government to provide them with the necessary resources to make this stealth tax on the sick a thing of the past."

Sign the petition to end hospital car parking charges

Headway is supporting a petition to end car parking charges at Hospitals in England. The petition is being spearheaded by Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, and is also being supported by FairFuelUK and cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

The petition has already gained more than 15,000 signatures. If it gains 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Click here to sign the petition

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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