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Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the oral answer of 13 October 2009, Official Report, column 135W, on Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, and pursuant to the oral answer of 24 November 2009, Official Report, columns 386-87, on parking charges (offsetting), what steps he plans to take to ensure that the programme to bring Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust back into surplus is not undertaken at the expense of staff, with particular reference to the level of car parking charges paid by staff of that trust. (302388)

This is a matter for Mid Essex Hospitals Services NHS Trust. We are advised that the trust is forecasting a surplus for the 2009-10 financial year and it is working to phase out car parking charges for in-patients.

The Department's existing guidance will be reissued to ensure that all organisations providing services to national health service patients are clear about the expectations. Early next year, we will issue revised concession guidance and examples of best practice.

The Department works through the strategic health authorities to ensure that all the organisations forecasting an operating deficit are developing recovery plans to return to financial balance while maintaining and improving services to patients. All trusts must ensure that any profit generated from car parking is used to improve health services in the NHS trust.