SOLIHULL NHS Care Trust has confirmed that there will be a charge for those patients who park at Solihull Hospital when visiting the borough’s new walk-in health centre.
The state-of-the-art facility, will open on the hospital’s site in April. But people who are visiting the centre will have to put their hand in their pocket if they want to use the hospital’s car park.
This has angered Maggie Throup, the prospective Conservative MP for Solihull, who believes that visitors should not have to stump up the cash.
The care trust has said that a parking charge is common practise at NHS facilities in town centres.
Ms Throup said: “The idea of this clinic is to provide equitable access to GP services for people across the borough, however by having to pay the usual hospital car parking charges, anyone visiting the clinic will be penalised.
“Having carried out market research on the provision of GP services, I know free parking at surgeries is a big plus point.”
A spokeswoman for Solihull NHS Care Trust said: “People visiting the new health centre and using the Solihull Hospital car park will be required to pay the hospital car parking charges.
“The health centre will complement existing GP and primary care services and will be open to people working in Solihull as well as local residents.
“It is expected, therefore, that many people using the facility will already be in the town centre.
“The aim of providing the centre in a convenient location is to make it easier for people to see a doctor or nurse.
“It will be open to everyone, whether they choose to register with the practice or not, from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.”
The centre will bring various health services under one roof, including GP services, cancer screenings and blood tests.