Baroness Morgan dismisses reports government is removing free parking for NHS workers
8 July 2020, 08:31 | Updated: 8 July 2020, 09:30
Baroness Nicky Morgan tells LBC there is no truth to reports that the government is removing free parking at hospitals for NHS workers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the government would cover the parking costs of NHS staff on 25th March, shortly after the start of lockdown.
The Department of Health has said the free parking will continue only for "key patient groups and NHS staff in certain circumstances" as the pandemic eases.
But Baroness Morgan told Nick Ferrari that nothing has changed.
She said: "I've checked this morning and my understanding is there is no foundation in this story.
"The government asked the NHS Trusts to lift the parking charges because our health workers and our care workers have done such an amazing job in looking after those of us who have been sick and ill.
"Nothing has changed in relation to that."
Asked to confirm if it is unfounded, she said: "It is and I think it's wrong that people have woken up with something to worry about when I'm sure they have many other things to be concerned about.
Last week, health minister Edward Argar said the support to make free parking available "cannot continue indefinitely" and added that the Government was looking at how long it would "need" to go on.
Responding on Friday to a written question from Labour's Rachael Maskell, he said: "The provision of free parking for National Health Service staff by NHS Trusts has not ended and nothing has changed since the announcement on 25 March.
"However, free parking for staff has only been made possible by support from local authorities and independent providers and this support cannot continue indefinitely."
Mr Argar said the Government wanted to be able to make good on its promise of free hospital parking for the disabled, frequent outpatient attendees, parents of sick children who are staying overnight and nightshift workers.
He said: "Implementation of this commitment has been on hold whilst the NHS has been managing the Covid-19 pandemic and devoting its hospital parking capacity to staff and other facilities necessary for managing the pandemic."