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NHS executives defend parking fees


17 April, 2008  

NHS executives have defended introducing car parking charges at hospitals in Scotland and promised the money raised would go towards patient care.

Bosses from two health boards told MSPs the charges stopped problems such as car parks becoming clogged before patients arrived for morning appointments.

Politicians on the Scottish Parliament public petitions committee demanded answers after the boards defied a request to keep parking free earlier this year.

Tom Divers, chief executive of Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board, was joined by board member Billy Hunter at the committee hearing.

NHS Tayside chief operating officer Gerry Marr and head of support services Brian Main also attended.

Mr Divers said: “The reality has been, within the city of Glasgow, there simply isn’t enough parking on site even for the number of staff who want to park.”

He said reports will be published detailing how cash raised through the charges would be used, adding that the current £3 daily rate was an acceptable way to pay for services.

He added: “We will publish a detailed annual report on what the income is and how it will be deployed, either through the maintenance of the estate arrangements or improvements.”

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon earlier capped levies at £3 and the government asked health boards not to introduced fees before a report, due on June 30.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Scottish Parliament public petitions committee