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Congestion Charge

Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has made to the Mayor of London regarding exemption from the congestion charge for patients required to attend London hospitals for treatment but who are unable to use public transport because of their illness. [105123]

The National Health Service London regional office, in consultation with and on behalf of the NHS in London, was involved in negotiations with Transport for London to identify ways to minimise potentially negative impacts of congestion charging on NHS patients.For patients, reimbursement of the congestion charge can be claimed for a vehicle used to transport an eligible NHS patient to attend NHS appointments in the congestion charging zone.Eligible patients are those where:

the relevant NHS body has provided assistance to enable the patient to attend appointments using private transport whether by reimbursement of travel costs or parking charges, or by the provision of free parking;
the patient has a compromised immune system, requires regular therapy or assessment, or requires recurrent surgical intervention;
the patient has been clinically assessed as too ill, weak or disabled to travel to an appointment by public transport.

The NHS and the Directorate of Health and Social Care—London will be closely monitoring the scheme to see what potential impact it may have.