Hospital parking charges

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Without re-igniting the 'Welsh' story, readers will be interested in the news that patients and visitors at most hospitals in Scotland will no longer have to pay for parking, with fees being abolished today. The move, announced in September, applies to 14 NHS hospitals which previously charged for parking.

Wales has already abolished charges at many hospitals and is set to abolish remaining charges by the end of 2011 but, surprise, surprise, there are no plans for fees to be scrapped in England. A Department of Health spokeswoman said it was not a "sensible use" of NHS resources to subsidise free car parking. This is despite Macmillan Cancer Support saying that hospital parking fees were "a tax on illness."

So, on a visit to Leighton, don't forget to have your £3 ready for a stay of over 20 minutes. Audlem Online's spoof story about applying to be Welsh has resulted in six TV programmes this year because of prescription charges and expensive parking at local hospitals. It seems, however, that the serious argument behind the spoof continues to run with this latest news from Scotland.


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