THE leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Burton has joined a growing chorus of opposition to the decision not to review disabled parking charges at Queen’s Hospital.
On Monday, Burton MP Andrew Griffiths tore into health chiefs at the Belvedere Road site saying they had ‘failed to listen to the concerns of the people they are supposed to represent’ after it was announced disabled parking charges introduced in April would stay in place despite opposition.
Now, Mike Green, (pictured) chairman of the Burton branch of UKIP, branded the charges a ‘cynical tax on the most vulnerable in our society’.
He said: “The accountants who made this decision without a shred of compassion should be ashamed.
“This decision is completely indicative of an organisation top heavy with consultants and managers who are completely out of touch with the realities of life, and the people they are meant to serve.”
Mr Green said he supported Mr Griffiths’ comments calling the decision to continue with the charges ‘shameful’.
He said: “I support pressure on the management team from anyone who may force them to reconsider.
“The decision is scandalous. By virtue of the fact that people holding a blue badge indicate they may need to access hospital services.
“I would remind the management team at Queen’s that the whole essence of the NHS is that it is free at the point of service.”
Tony Wait, director of finance at the hospital, previously told the Mail the executive team had reviewed the decision but agreed ‘charging holders to park is appropriate and should continue’.
But Mr Wait added that there are plans to introduce a concessionary scheme for blue badge holders with changes planned to be introduced from October 1.
He said: “We have entered the consultation period where we will engage with our patients, carers and disability groups to find out their views on the concessionary scheme we are introducing to discuss the way forward.”