The Royal Duchess of Edinburgh Infirmary has made history today by becoming the first NHS hospital to offer low-interest loans to enable visitors to use its car park.
The system has been introduced because the private company handed responsibility for running the facility, Megaspaces, has raised it charges to £35.00 per hour meaning an average clinic visit, allowing for the four-hour delay before being seen by the consultant, plus a further hour to get to the clinic then back to you car means handing over at least £175.00 for a typical visit.
A spokesman for Megaspaces said: ‘We feel that the time is now right to offer these loans because it’s what the public want, or at least they certainly don’t want to keep being clamped, and as clamping costs us more money we’d prefer to pay shareholders a larger dividend so we’ve jacked up our rates.
But one visitor, Grant Evans, visiting his wife who is recovering after lifesaving surgery stays up to ten hours every day isn’t happy. ‘My missus come in here three months ago and I have had to put my house up for sale as I have already used all my pension pot to fund parking. It’s a bloody disgrace.’
‘Cases such as this are of course very regrettable,’ agrees the Megaspaces spokesman, ‘but look, it could be worse, Mr Evans might have just as likely been the victim of a burglary, where not only were all his possessions and cash stolen, but the burglars, in attempting to destroy all clues of their crime, then razed his house to the ground, after which he unfortunately discovered his insurance had lapsed.’