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“Mental Health Trust parking charges are significantly lower” – Perry

April 1, 2009

conquestParking charges set by the local mental health trust are significantly lower than those at the Conquest, according to figures uncovered by Nick Perry, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner for Hastings & Rye.

The NHS Estates and Facilities directorate provides information on average charges per hour for patients and visitors. The average for East Sussex Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the Conquest and the Eastbourne District General Hospital, was £2 in 2007-8. The average for Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust was just ten pence – a difference of £1.90 per hour.

Speaking on Monday, Nick said,

“I was shocked to find the difference in average hourly fees. Our local mental health trust is obviously giving a much fairer deal to local people in respect of hospital parking and they should be congratulated for this.

“People will be rightly angry that there are, seemingly, different rates for different illnesses.

“I have had many people write to me with harrowing stories of the upset and injustice they have experienced at the hands of ESHT’s parking regime.

“This information increases the pressure on East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust to come back to the negotiating table and change their policy.”

The news comes as the Trust has deferred the introduction of pay-as-you leave parking for a further year.

Mr Perry has called an emergency cross-party meeting to progress a change of policy, but Chair of the Board, Irene Dibben, has not yet confirmed that she will attend.

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