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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 15:11 GMT
Hospital car parking fees delayed
Gartnavel Hospital
Charges will not be brought in at Gartnavel until a review has ended
The introduction of controversial car parking charges at Glasgow hospitals will be delayed, health bosses said.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it wanted a review to ensure the tariff was "reasonable" but charges will still be introduced after the summer.

Its chief executive said fees are being imposed to deter "park and riders" and others from abusing hospital car parks.

Last month, the first minister issued a public warning to hospital chiefs to think again over the charges.

Parking charges are already in force at Glasgow Royal Infirmary but will not be brought in at the Western Infirmary, Gartnavel Hospital, Yorkhill and the Victoria Infirmary until the review is completed.

Charges at the Southern General will be considered as part of second phase review at a later date.

It will examine the maximum daily charges and the needs of long-term regular patients, including cancer sufferers and dialysis patients.

It seems sensible to look again at some of the specific details of our charging policy
Tom Divers
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Tom Divers, the health board's chief executive, said: "What we must accept is that charging is the only way to pay for desperately needed management arrangements at busy city hospital car parks without moving money away from direct patient care.

"Our view is that it is better for the vast majority of patients and visitors to pay between 1 and 2 and have a very good chance of finding a space as opposed to enjoying free parking but with virtually no chance of finding a space when it is needed.

"Valid questions have been asked and it seems sensible to look again at some of the specific details of our charging policy to make sure we have got it right."

First Minister Jack McConnell has told NHS bosses to come up with a way of deterring those who use hospital grounds as free car parks - but without imposing "excessive" parking charges which penalised nurses, other staff, and genuine visitors.


SEE ALSO
Hospitals to charge for parking
08 Feb 07 |  Glasgow and West
Parking fee plan for hospitals
18 May 04 |  Scotland

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