THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price led a debate to scrap parking charges in NHS car parks yesterday.

The MP, led the debate in the House of Commons which saw members from all side support the idea that charges should be scrapped for patients, their families and staff.

Ms Doyle-Price told the House: “For so many of our constituents, driving to hospital is not a choice, it is essential. “Many of them are undergoing treatment which means that travel by public transport is simply not an option, particularly when they have to be accompanied by members of their family.

“Members of their family will also wish to visit them if they have a prolonged stay, and they, too, should not be faced with punitive car parking charges.

“To put it simply, hospital car parking charges are a tax on NHS treatment.”

Following the debate, the MP said she was pleased to have gained the support of other parties.

She added: “I was pleased to have the support of Labour, LibDem and Conservative members on this important issue. “Where hospital trusts are ripping off vulnerable patients with high car park charges it is essential that we MPs say that isn’t good enough and challenge the management of those trusts to do right by their patients.”