Hospital named and shamed over free staff overnight parking failure

Latest NHS figures show there were 45 people with Covid-19 occupying beds at Norfolk and Norwich Uni

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of four trusts not offering free parking to all overnight staff - Credit: Evening News © 2009

The region's largest hospital has been named as one of just four trusts nationwide that is failing to offer free parking to all its overnight staff.

As part of NHS car parking guidance hospitals are required to allow staff members whose shifts start after 7.30pm or end before 8am to park free of charge.

Overnight staff are one of four groups of people required to receive free parking at hospitals.

The others are blue badge holders, outpatients who need to visit three times or more a month over a period of three months and parents of sick children staying overnight.

And while the latter three are all complied with by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), an investigation from the Health Service Journal found that not all of its overnight staff have been able to park for free.

The investigation found that the NNUH was one of four hospitals that have not been meeting this requirement.

The three other trusts were Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, London North West University Healthcare Trust and the Royal Wolverhampton Trust.

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However the hospital said its permanent overnight staff members are issued with permits to park for free, with the shortcoming relating to workers who do a combination of day and night shifts.

An NNUH spokesman said: "We offer free hospital parking to disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders and parents of sick children staying overnight.

"Staff are currently charged monthly, according to their pay banding and we are in the process of reviewing our parking policy following a consultation with staff."

The hospital's review of its parking policy comes after the government announced it would be scrapping a blanket provision of free parking for staff that was introduced during the pandemic.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed no further Covid rules will be introduced in 2021

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed no further Covid rules will be introduced in 2021 - Credit: PA

Parking fees were waived for staff members in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, but announcing the end to the measure in March this year, health secretary Sajid Javid said the measure was only ever intended as a temporary one for "the duration of the pandemic" - and that it had entered "its next phase".

Meanwhile, it was revealed this year that the pandemic had seen the region's three hospital's lose out on millions in parking revenue with the NNUH's hospital earning less in 2020 and 2021 combined (£1.9m) than it did in 2018 alone (£2.8m).