Terminally ill Skegby man hits out at King’s Mill Hospital charges

A TERMINALLY ill Skegby man says people with disabilities are being ‘persecuted’ after King’s Mill Hospital bosses scrapped free parking.

The 40-year-old, who asked not to be named, says he plans to cancel his appointments at King’s Mill and go to another hospital.

“It’s going to cost me a fiver every time I go and it’s a lot of money when you are on a budget,” he said. “What’s the point of having a blue badge system?”

“I feel I am being persecuted for not being able to support the system. I have had my own bars and nightclubs and I have paid a lot of tax.”

Earlier this month, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust put up the cost of parking for an hour or more by 50p per stay, while disabled blue badge holders would no longer be entitled to free parking.

The resident has also contacted Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero, and she said this week: “I am going directly to the minister about this and I have already told the trust in no uncertain terms that I find this completely unacceptable.”

Their comments were echoed by Kirkby resident Pat Simms. She said: “It’s diabolical and it’s an insult to the disabled. What about people who are going for chemotherapy? Don’t you think they are suffering enough? They may as well charge them for treatment.”

The trust must provide agreed income levels from car parking to private firm Medirest as part of its private finance initiative (PFI) contracts.

The trust’s commercial director Lucy Dadge said: “We think and we hope we’ve now got a system that’s optimal that means we can protect our income.

“We will not review the charges again for another 12 months and we take this issue seriously and will keep it under review.”

She added: “I can honestly say I think we’ve now got the best hospital car parking in the region. PFI has enabled us to find a solution to car parking and I think you can see the benefits of that.”

Some of the recent improvements include increasing the number of spaces and extra signage.

People can still buy ‘saver tickets’, which allows them to pay £10 for seven days and £25 for four weeks,