MP Ben Gummer backs campaign for Ipswich Hospital parking reform

Ipswich MP and Health Minister Ben Gummer.

Ipswich MP and Health Minister Ben Gummer. - Credit: Archant

Parking charges for staff at Ipswich Hospital should be set at a sliding scale according to an employee’s pay rate, the town’s MP has said.

Car parking ticket machine at Ipswich Hospital. Picture by Jerry Turner.

Car parking ticket machine at Ipswich Hospital. Picture by Jerry Turner.

It is a cause that Ben Gummer has previously fought for but one he says was “struck down” by the hospital’s unions.

This comes as more than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for free car parking for NHS staff at Ipswich Hospital.

The e-petition was launched on Sunday by former porter at the hospital, Justin Hollis, on behalf of a nurse who he claimed was fined after she forgot to place her ticket in her car and then was unable to leave the ward because of “no staff cover”.

Mr Gummer, who is also the Government’s health minister, said he would take this particular case up with the chief executive of Ipswich Hospital, Nick Hulme.

“Some years ago I proposed to the hospital that they have a graded payment system so nurses, porters, cleaners and those not on higher salaries got discounted rates and people paid top salaries would pay higher rates because I thought that would be fairer,” Mr Gummer said. “Unfortunately that idea was struck down by the hospital unions so it’s not gone any further but that was my proposed route because for people who are not paid high wages parking is a considerable cost.”

An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said the idea was put forward and discussed at the hospital’s joint consultation and negotiation group, which is made up of ‘staff-side representatives’ from across the whole organisation and which meets on a frequent basis to discuss issues they wish to raise.

She added: “Car parking was discussed and I know that the idea of a sliding scale of charges was carefully thought through by staff-side representatives who did not support it, so it isn’t just the unions – it was all different staff.”

To view the petition, visit:

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