Free hospital parking plans in Northern Ireland under threat

“I remember worrying about [parking costs], to be honest, because I think it was about £8 a night and we were there two months, so it would have been a quite a big bill, wouldn’t it?” – Mum of a child having cancer treatment. 

Hospital parking can be costly for children and young people with cancer, who most often need to use a car to get to their vital treatment and care.  

Parking is just one of many unnecessary financial obstacles in the already stressful journey of getting to and from hospital.  

In Northern Ireland, plans were in place to make hospital parking free for all from 2024. This was an important step that Young Lives vs Cancer welcomed, that would mean no child, young person or their family travelling for treatment in Northern Ireland would need to worry about parking costs  

Unfortunately, these plans are now at risk. A consultation has been opened on whether to stop the plans to make hospital parking free for all. 

Young Lives vs Cancer Devolved Nations Policy and Public Affair’s Officer Ben explains: 

At Young Lives vs Cancer we know it’s vital that plans for free parking remain in place in Northern Ireland.  

We’ve written an open letter urging the Department of Health to keep their promise and make hospital parking free in Northern Ireland next year, but we can’t do this alone. 

If you live in Northern Ireland, please add your name to our open letter. Together, we need to let decision makers know that stopping plans of free hospital parking isn’t right. We need free hospital parking in Northern Ireland. 

Young Lives vs Cancer’s research found it costs children and young people with cancer and their families £250 per month on average just to travel to treatment. Over the many months or even years of treatment, additional costs like parking quickly add up, leaving many struggling financially and 1 in 10 delay or miss treatment because of the cost of getting there. 

We’ll continue to work across the UK to make sure children and young people with cancer can focus on what matters-getting through treatment and not worrying about the cost of getting there. 

If you live in Northern Ireland please add your name to our open letter calling for hospital parking plan 

To find out more about the Northern Ireland parking consultation and read the proposals visit the consultation page. 

Author: Emma

Posted on Thursday 21 December 2023

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