Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid tear into hospitals charging NHS staff £500 for parking
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid have criticised a hospital trust for charging its staff over £500 a year for parking within the grounds of their workplace during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A report from the Mirror highlighted how, despite a government pledge to fund hospitals so that parking fees could be temporarily scrapped for staff, Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, where some staff have died from Covid, have introduced charges “to manage demand” for spaces.
Reviewing the morning's front pages on Wednesday's Good Morning Britain, Morgan and Reid both made their feelings known about the story.
"Absolutely disgusting," Morgan said. "These staff have put up with the most terrible conditions. Utter relentless heartbreak and agony and torment for nearly a year and the reward is they get hit with £500-a-year parking fines to park in the grounds of the hospital that they're saving lives in. It is a complete disgrace"
"It's like a tax on working for them," Reid added.
'Absolutely disgusting...These staff have had to put up with the most terrible conditions and torment and the reward is a £500 parking fine.'
'It has to stop.'@piersmorgan and @susannareid100 question why NHS staff are still getting charged for parking in hospital car parks. pic.twitter.com/dIMqlACm0R
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) February 10, 2021
Speaking to the Mirror, a spokesperson for trust spokesman attempted to defend the decision, claiming that they had offered free parking to staff where possible during the earlier months of the pandemic.
"During the unprecedented times of this pandemic, we have introduced a number of measures to support our amazing staff including free hot meals every day, and a broad range of measures to aid staff health and wellbeing," the spokesperson said.
"We did have free parking in place whenever possible from March to January.
"Unfortunately, as we began to reinstate outpatient appointments and planned care procedures following the first wave, our car parks became far too busy, and we had no other option but to re-introduce some charges simply to manage demand.
"Despite offering all staff access to free and discounted parking options nearby, as well as increasing our free park and ride services and introducing additional pick up and drop off spots, the situation had become so difficult that we were causing large tailbacks onto public highways, and finding a space was so challenging that staff were late for work and patients late for long-awaited appointments."