Headway has been calling for hospital car parking charges in England to be scrapped. Harlow MP Robert Halfon led a debate on the issue which received cross-party support. Ending NHS hospital car parking charges would bring England in line with Scotland and Wales where almost all hospital car parks are free.
During the debate Mr Halfon said, “I have a quote from the charity, Headway, which really sums up the whole debate. Headway does an incredible amount of work with brain injury. This is what it said: ‘Recently, we supported a family who had spent more than £1,500 in parking charges in only 15 weeks. They needed to be at the bedside of their son who was fighting for his life after sustaining brain injury. What parent wouldn’t want to be there, day and night? Yet they were faced with a huge bill. These charges are driving families into debt and despair at a time when they already have more than enough to cope with.’”
Brain injury often strikes without any warning and the effects can be life-threatening. Families are desperate to be close to their loved ones and may need to be consulted urgently on decisions about care. The Headway Emergency Fund provides grants of up to £500 in the immediate aftermath of brain injury, to help adult brain injury survivors and their families cope with the sudden practical implications, such as the costs of parking and travel to be with their loved one in hospital.
Headway’s Public Affairs Manager, Dr Clare Mills, said, “It’s really good to see that MPs recognise the excellent work Headway does to support patients and families affected by brain injury.
“Headway will continue to work with MPs across the political spectrum to improve help and support, including pushing for an end to punitive hospital car parking charges that have been labelled by some as a stealth tax on the elderly, disabled and relatives of the sick.”Back