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#GPnews: Concern over rising hospital parking fees

15:35 There’s been a big reaction on social media this afternoon to the announcement that HEE has been given one year to draw up plans to reduce the NHS’s ‘reliance on international migration’ as part of health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s crackdown on trainees from outside the UK.

Responding to the story on Twitter, the education and training lead for the GPC Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said he was ‘speechless that it had come to this’.

14:33 ITV News has the lowdown on the car parking furore, having published a helpful top list of most expensive hospitals for parking your vehicle for an hour.

They are:

  • Royal Surrey County Hospital £4
  • Hereford County Hospital: £3.50
  • Stockport £3.50
  • Bristol Royal Infirmary £3.40
  • West Suffolk Hospital £3.30

12:05  Pharmacies in rural areas are under threat of closure after talks about a vital subsidy broke down with ministers. 

A quater of rural pharmacies could face potential closeure after the Government said it wanted to withdraw a £170m subsidy for community chemists.

This could mean that up to 3,000 out of the 12,000 pharmacies in the UK, a large proportion of which are in rural areas, faced closure, according to the Telegraph

09:40 There is widespread concern around rising hospital car parking fees in the papers this morning.

The Guardian repots that a third of hopsitals have increased charges since last year, with some now charging as much as £4 an hour.

Since 2014, charges have risen by an average 15%, the report says.

Laura Keely, campaigns manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ’Cancer patients often need to make frequent trips to hospital. They should not be left out of pocket in order to receive life-saving treatment.

’Public transport is not always an option as cancer patients can have an increased risk of infection because treatment has compromised their immune system. Treatments can also leave patients feeling tired, sick and weak, so they have little choice but to travel by car.

‘Car parking is free at most hospitals in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales but not across all hospitals in England. Those in charge of hospital car parking have a responsibility to ensure that their schemes work for vulnerable people, such as those living with cancer.’

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