Health secretary fails to guarantee future of free hospital parking for NHS staff

Free hospital parking for NHS staff remains under threat after Matt Hancock failed to guarantee it would continue in England after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Labour said free parking along with a pay rise for health workers would help after a Health and Social Care Committee report warned that NHS and social care staff burnout has reached an “emergency” level.

Speaking in the Commons, shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: “We’ve seen reports today of how exhausted NHS staff are.

“Now (Environment Secretary George Eustice) on the media this morning said he’s not sure what more the Government can do to support NHS staff.

“Well obviously the Government can give them a pay rise.

“But can he also commit today to extending free hospital car parking for NHS staff beyond the pandemic?”

Health Secretary Mr Hancock replied: “Of course we have made hospital car parking free for staff during the pandemic. That’s one of the many, many things that we’ve put in place to support staff.

“Staff wellbeing support and mental health support has also been incredibly important, learning for instance from the support we give to others in public service who go through traumatic episodes.

“So it’s quite right that there’s a wide array of things that we need to do to support NHS staff on the front line.”

Mr Ashworth noted: “That was not a commitment to extend the relief of hospital car parking charges beyond the pandemic.”

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