Free hospital car park plan 'doomed'

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Indy Politics

Hopes that hospitals in England could be banned from charging patients for parking are likely to be dashed.

The previous Labour government began a consultation last year on how to implement a pledge by then health secretary Andy Burnham to scrap charges within three years.

But the Tory-Lib Dem coalition indicated yesterday it was likely to leave the decision in the hands of individual NHS trusts.

An announcement is expected to be made soon but Health minister Simon Burns said: "For a long time, we have been unconvinced that Labour's car-parking idea was properly funded and practical. Andy Burnham himself was forced to retreat from his initial commitment on hospital car parking and even some members of his own party didn't support his proposal."