HOSPITAL bosses have performed a U-turn by stopping imposing charges to people having long-term treatment at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital. 

A new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system started on 21 December 2018, to ‘simplify existing carpark arrangements, provide a wider range of payment options’.

However, there was concern after some dialysis, cancer and long-term patients were told they would now have to pay.

Paul Havey, Deputy Chief Executive said, “We have listened to feedback from patients who have long term conditions that means they need to visit hospital frequently.  We agree that these patients should not pay for parking, and so will soon be reinstating complete exemptions for anyone who has a life threatening, lifelong condition that requires treatment twice or more per week.  We are currently working out how these exemptions can be easily applied to minimise any inconvenience and will confirm arrangements shortly.  We will also be liaising with those patients who qualify for an exemption who have paid a concessionary rate since December, and will offer a full reimbursement.  

“Despite our best efforts we recognise that a number of technical issues arose during the implementation of the new parking system which caused concern and inconvenience, and for this we are really sorry.

“We will continue to listen to feedback, and are continuously monitoring the situation, and will take swift action to resolve any further issues.”

Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle, said: “I think it is absolutely right for the hospital to change their minds over parking charges for long-term conditions as they should not have to pay. 

“But if the hospital had consulted on the plan in the first place they would not have got in a pickle in the first place.

“It is arrogance of the hospital management to do it. 

“They have got it wrong. 

“I still think parking should be free for the first three hours.”