Some NHS staff pay thousands of pounds every year to park at work.
Hospitals will soon be required to provide free car parking for some patients, visitors and staff, Matt Hancock has announced.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that from April, blue badge holders, the parents of sick children staying overnight and night shift workers will be allowed to park for free.
Presently, some NHS staff in England pay thousands of pounds every year to park at work with Trusts raising £254 million from car parking charges last year.
Parking charges for patients have consistently been branded as “a tax on the sick”.
DHSC provided no information on how the scheme will be funded, adding to fears the cost could be taken from patient care budgets or simply shifted to those not entitled to free parking.
A new approach to hospital parking.
Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “This month millions of people put their trust in this government to deliver.
“One of the concerns mentioned regularly on the doorsteps was that vulnerable people, and staff working nights, have to pay for hospital car parking.
“So we are today delivering on our manifesto commitment and setting out our new approach to NHS hospital parking charges.
“Currently, the situation varies from hospital to hospital. Instead, from April, across the country, those with the greatest need – such as disabled people, parents staying overnight with sick children in hospital, and NHS staff working night shifts – will no longer have to pay for parking.”