Hospital bosses have insisted they will go ahead with the introduction of parking fees at Accrington Victoria - despite objections from council bosses.
In a last ditch attempt the leader of Hyndburn council had written to the East Lancashire NHS Trust urging the body to reconsider their decision - but they have confirmed that charges will be introduced this month.
The changes mean that disabled patients will also now have to pay to park at all East Lancashire’s hospitals.
Coun Miles Parkinson had written to chief executive Kevin McGee, arguing that he did not believe it was ‘appropriate’ to introduce the charges in Accrington.
He stated: “Paying for parking will impact on some of Hyndburn’s most vulnerable residents the hardest.
“This will only be exacerbated for those residents who need to make frequent visits to hospital.
“As well as impacting adversely on patients and carers the introduction of parking fees will also impact on residents in the area around Accrington Victoria Hospital.
“Visitors to the hospital already cause significant disruption to residents by parking on neighbouring streets, and the introduction of car parking charges will only make the situation worse.”
He added that the level of additional income generated by the introduction of parking charges at Accrington Victoria Hospital would represent less than 0.02 per cent of the Trust’s annual income.
Gillian Simpson, director of operations at the Trust, said the letter was discussed by the Trust Board, but that “the decision to implement parking charges across our sites remains in place”.
She said: “The Trust must make savings this year of around £14 million and we are having to consider every opportunity that contributes to these savings, especially when the quality of our clinical services is not affected as a result.
“We believe it is unfair that people pay for parking in some sites and not others, so this is a more equitable arrangement. The money generated by this will be used to support our front line services.”
She added: “Our priority is to continue to deliver safe, personal and effective services to our patients. Parking charges at our hospitals are amongst the lowest in the country and we do offer concessions.”
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