Skip to main content

Cancer: Financial Assistance for Patients

Volume 684: debated on Monday 10 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they are giving to the findings and recommendations of Macmillan Cancer Support’s report Cancer Costs for cancer patients to be exempt from hospital car-parking charges and for an urgent review of the financial assistance available to them; and what action they will be taking.[HL6509]

The Government value their strong and constructive relationship with Macmillan Cancer Support and will of course consider the recommendations in its report Cancer Costs—The Hidden Price of Getting Treatment.

However, financial assistance is already available to patients through the hospital travel costs scheme and the National Health Service low-income scheme.

Under the Department of Health's income- generation rules, NHS trusts are allowed to charge for car parking and are advised to assess the needs of all users of the hospital, including patients, visitors, staff, emergency vehicles and others, when operating car-parking schemes. Trusts are allowed to charge because the provision of car-parking facilities incurs a range of maintenance, security and staffing costs. If no charges were made, trusts would have to find these costs from elsewhere. Each trust is responsible for setting its own charges, but any profits must be used to improve health services.