A trade union says a temporary £20 parking fee at KGH will mean staff will bear the burden of the addition of a second tier to Car Park B.
KGH announced earlier this week that the new all-day charge, up from £8.20, will come into play on June 5 and will last for about four months.
They said it was to deter staff from parking on-site in visitor car parks and staff will be asked to park at the crematorium or in the old Northants Telegraph office car park instead of their current Car Park C.
Unite regional officer Sally Mortimer said: “Cash-strapped NHS staff appear to be bearing the financial burden of the car parking building programme at Kettering General Hospital.
“The stark choice is for NHS employees is to pay the outrageous £20 a day car parking fee during the four-months of construction work – or walk ten to 15 minutes in all weathers to care for the sick and vulnerable, or wait for the mini-bus service when it is not clear how frequent this mini-bus will be.
“The management at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust seems to have conveniently forgotten that NHS staff received a miserly one per cent pay rise this year and have seen, in the majority of cases, their incomes seriously eroded in real terms by 17 per cent since 2010.”
Ms Mortimer branded the temporary charge ‘ludicrous’ given the current financial climate.
She added: “At a time when there have been reports of nurses using food banks across the UK, to use this £20 daily fee to ration car parking demand is absolutely ludicrous.
“The trust bosses should be picking up the difference between the current £8.20 daily fee and the extortionate £20 fee for their hard-working and dedicated employees – it is the decent thing to do.
“While Unite understands that increased car parking is required at the hospital, it would seem that the needs of NHS staff are secondary when set against the rapacious collection of this hefty, if temporary, car parking fee.”
The second tier at KGH’s Car Park B will add an extra 240 car parking spaces once complete.
A KGH spokesman said: “The introduction of a £20 car parking charge is to try to ensure that our patients and visitors are able to access car parking spaces when visiting the hospital site by discouraging people from parking at the hospital all day.
“This is a temporary measure whilst we build our new car park deck above car park B which will eventually result in an additional 240 spaces.
“The £20 fee will be included within car park revenue and goes towards onsite road and car parks maintenance.
“We have offered staff the opportunity of parking off site at either Robinson Way or Trafalgar Road – both car parks still have spaces available and both are charged at the rate of £16 per month.
“The Robinson Way car park is served by a mini bus at the beginning and end of the working day and this system has been in place for a number of months.”