08:22 Friday 05 April 2013

Senior hosptial staff kept sweet as disabled made to pay

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

22/03/13 Hospital car park pic - Burton's Queen's Hospital, Belvedere Rd, BurtonQueens Hospital - Staff Car Park 22/03/13 Hospital car park pic - Burton's Queen's Hospital, Belvedere Rd, BurtonQueens Hospital - Staff Car Park

PARKING rates are being kept to a minimum for senior members of staff at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital while disabled visitors are being made to pay, it has been revealed.

The hospital’s director of finance, Tony Waite, said the hospital was reluctant to impose hikes on its staff for parking and other benefits for fear of them being driven away.

It comes after parking charges for senior members of staff were leaked to the Mail by disgruntled motorist Dave Burrows, who decided to submit a Freedom of Information request to discover the rate bosses at Queen’s pay in the wake of the hospital’s controversial decision to introduce charges for the disabled.

Although Mr Waite insisted rates compared with hospitals elsewhere, he said it had to remain ‘competitive’ with the benefits it provided in order to ‘attract and retain the best staff’. But this comes only weeks after the hospital revealed it was to introduce charges for the disabled to recoup finances for patient care.

Queen’s revealed that senior members of staff were charged around £4 per week for parking, but with the hospital publicising the need to raise more money through parking, Mr Burrows believes those at the top should be charged more, therefore alleviating some of the burden from members of the public using the hospital.

In comparison, a long stay parking ticket for hospital visitors could see them paying as much as £6 in a day, with a weekly pass costing £8.

Mr Waite said: “The trust routinely reviews its pricing structure for car parking in line with similar-sized hospitals in the region to ensure the rates compare favourably.

“The amount that staff pay for car parking is in proportion to their salary and ranges from £120 a year to £226 for full-time senior managers.

“In order to attract and retain the best staff at our hospital we do have to be competitive with other NHS employers on staff benefits which include parking charges.”

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