Hospital parking charges scrapped until March

All parking charges were abolished at most Scottish hospitals in 2008, however the country’s three PFI hospitals still have charges.

Parking charges at three Scottish hospitals will continue to be scrapped until March, the health secretary has confirmed.

Car park providers at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee agreed to remove the charges for staff, visitors and patients back in March.

At the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Friday, Jeane Freeman confirmed the agreement has been extended until spring 2021.

All parking charges were abolished at most Scottish hospitals in 2008, however the country’s three PFI hospitals – the ERI, GRI and Ninewells – still have charges because the Scottish Government claims it would cost too much to buy out the right of the private consortia which built the hospitals to impose such fees.

The health secretary said this would make a “huge difference” to hospital staff and patients.

She said: “NHS workers have done an extraordinary job for us all during this pandemic and still do.

“So, it’s only right that we make life a little bit easier for them.”

It was also revealed at the briefing that a further 36 people have died in Scotland after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 110,040 – a jump of 744 in the past 24 hours.

The official death toll in Scotland currently stands at 4239, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is now at least 6220 – which takes into account this week’s additional deaths.

According to management information reported by NHS boards across Scotland, 1032 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 – an increase of 20 overnight. Out of those, 50 patients are in intensive care.

Of the new cases reported on Friday, 172 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 158 are in Lothian and 94 are in Grampian.

The rest of the cases are spread out across eight other health board areas.

Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch said an agreement had been reached setting out a clinical definition of so-called “long Covid”.

He said medical organisations across the UK were publishing clinical guidelines on the persistent effects of coronavirus and best practice for treatment options.

“Post-Covid syndrome” could be debilitating for patients, he said.

He added: “We’re actively working with clinical communities and patients and families across Scotland to understand how these guidelines can support the care of people with long Covid.”

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