Heartbroken daughter claims hospital £2.50 parking charge killed her father after he arrived with chest pains but had no change to leave his car
- Kerry Akers has blamed hospital parking charges for her father Brian’s death
- He died hours after leaving Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex
- Mr Akers, 57, did not have enough change for ticket machine and went to his GP
- But hours later he was found slumped in his bed by his wife after dying from an aneurysm
A grieving daughter has blamed ‘stealth tax’ hospital parking charges for her father’s death.
Father-of-two Brian Akers, 57, died hours after leaving Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, because he did not have any change for a ticket machine.
He was trying to visit the A&E when he was suffering with chronic chest pains, but worried he would be fined, he drove the 30 miles to a GP.
A doctor put the condition down to an infection, rather than a fatal blood clot, and just hours later he was found slumped in his bed by his wife.
Father-of-two Brian Akers, 57, (centre) pictured with his daughter Kerry and son Phillip, died hours after leaving hospital because he did not have any change for a ticket machine
Mr Akers, of South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, had died from a massive aneurysm on the same day he went to hospital on November 20, 2012.
Kerry Akers, 32, told the Daily Express: ‘I truly believe hospital parking charges killed my father.
‘If he had gone to A&E he would have seen a specialist who wouldn’t have dismissed it as an infection.
‘Who knows who else this has happened to?’
Mr Akers with his son Phillip (right) and Ms Akers on holiday with her brother
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She has now backed Tory MP Robert Halfon’s campaign to axe the ‘stealth tax on the sick’ the Daily Express reports.
He launched a petition after nationwide outcry over parking charges at hosptials in England.
Ms Akers, an Oxfam humanitarian worker from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘Almost six years after dad died we are still searching for answers.
‘I get angry when I think £2.50 could have saved his life but his death has motivated me to seek change.’
Mid Essex Hospital Trust, which runs Broomfield Hospital (pictured) made £1.625million from car parking charges last year
Mr Akers was trying to visit the hospital’s A&E (pictured) when he was suffering with chronic chest pains
The official cause of Mr Akers’s death was given as pulmonary thromboembolism, a blockage of an artery in the lungs. No inquest was held, and the family did not claim compensation.
His ex-wife Lynne Akers, 62, who also faced paying parking charges when she was admitted to Queen’s Hospital in Romford with a brain tumour, said: ‘My ex-husband lost his life unnecessarily. Brian’s death was needless death.’
Kerry’s brother Phillip, 29, is also backing the campaign to end hospital car parking charges, and is getting married later this year.
NHS trusts in England are free to set their own rates with patients now paying on average £2 for a one hour stay.
In 2016/17, they pocketed a record £174million from parking fines. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in the West Midlands made £4,865,000 while Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust raised £3,946,312.
England’s most expensive car park is the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford which charges £4 an hour and £6.50 for between four and six hours.
Tory MP Robert Halfon has launched a campaign to scrap hospital car parking charges
Mr Halfon, the MP for Harlow, Essex, has said: ‘We cannot say, in good faith, that the NHS is free at the point of access if people face extortionate and unfair car parking fees to get to their hospital appointments, go to work in our vital public services or visit sick relatives.
‘Rather than allowing drivers to fund hospital deficits through this stealth tax, we must scrap hospital car parking charges to ensure the NHS really is free at the point of access for all.’
A spokesman for Mid Essex Hospital Trust, which runs Broomfield Hospital and made £1.625million from car parking charges last year, said: ‘It is necessary to charge for parking to provide the funds to contribute to the provision and upkeep of the facilities [and] also to continue to contribute to the wider transport planning and to provide income for the trust to support the delivery of care for patients.’
The Department for Health and Social Care said: “We have made it very clear that patients, their families and our hardworking staff should not be subjected to unfair parking charges.’
It said it was keeping the issue ‘under review.’
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