A patients’ rights group has warned Huddersfield and Calderdale hospitals not to use its parking clampdown as a way of boosting its bank balance.

Hospital chiefs have announced a new enforcement system for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital that could see bad parkers fined £60.

It comes after years of problems of people blocking crucial access routes and wrongly parking in disabled bays.

Calderdale and Huddersfield Hospitals NHS Trust says any profit from the scheme will be ploughed back into parking improvement schemes.

Director of Healthwatch Kirklees, Rory Deighton, said they would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

He said: “We understand the hospital trust’s problems with parking, and their need to maximise the effectiveness of the parking space that they have, to protect ambulance routes and disabled parking spots.

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Lindley
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Lindley
 

“Patients have said to us previously that the use of disabled parking spaces is not monitored so it’s good to see them taking action in this area.

“We welcome the flexibility in the scheme and the exemptions for genuine clinical reasons.

“Patients will however be very critical if this turns out to be a way for the hospital trust to make money. Healthwatch will be listening to patients comments about these new schemes in the weeks to come.”

Mr Deighton said hospital chiefs also needed to consider the “bigger issue” of co-ordinating their parking strategy with Kirklees Council’s.

He added: “If one of the strategic aims in the next few years is to support people to live independently, and to keep an aging population out of hospitals and care homes, then it is not fair or strategic to increase parking charges in the roads around the hospital.

“We need to make it easier for carers, sons and daughters, neighbours and friends to drive older people to the hospital for treatment, park, and then bring them home again.”

Fines to be dished out for bad parkers at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital - see more here

Click here to take you back to more Huddersfield news .

Want to read, watch and hear more? You can download the FREE Examiner Apple App  here , the FREE Examiner Android App  here  or you can view the paper as an e-edition on your Apple, Android or Kindle device by clicking  here

To follow us on Twitter click here