A fuming mum-to-be was charged almost £100 for parking at a hospital while her young son was having a vital operation.
Morgan Hurley had spent two nights at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in west London, with two-year-old Georgie when she was “confronted” with a £98 parking charge for her stay.
The 22-year-old from north west London, who is expecting a baby in September, said when she complained to hospital staff about the charge she was told there was nothing they could do.
She told the Mirror: “I said to them I’m being charged £98 and it was a rip-off and they said there was nothing they could do because the car park was privately owned so I had no choice but to pay it.”
Little Georgie has spent most of his life attending hospital appointments after he was born prematurely with his twin Charlie.
Sadly Charlie died when he was 10 days old and Georgie was in hospital for five months before he was well enough to go home.
Morgan also suffered further bereavements after losing Charlie and Georgie has a number of health conditions which includes him having to be fed by a tube through his nose.
On June 30 Georgie underwent an operation so he can be fed through his stomach instead and Morgan stayed at the hospital.
“This is disgusting as they are targeting vulnerable people,” Morgan said.
“No one wants to be in hospital.”
After a photo of Morgan’s parking charge was posted on Twitter it caused outrage from disgusted social media users while some said they had also been forced to pay large sums to visit poorly and in some cases dying loved ones.
One said: “Had the same issue when my 2 year-old was in hospital for cancer treatment. On the days I couldn’t afford to pay the parking fees, or car park was full, I received tickets outside on roads – they’ll never get the money.”
Another tweeted: “This happened to me when my dad was dying in hospital! I was quite upset, and drove out of the car park without authorising the ticket and got a £75 fine through the post! It’s disgusting that people like us are penalised at times of such pain and distress!!’
A third commented: “My mother in law was in hospital for months following a stroke a couple of years back. We visited her daily and the small amount of savings we had were quickly eaten up on parking fees. A few hundred pounds a month easily>”
A fourth person: “They don’t care. They charge staff a fortune to park, they charge people at end of life. It’s all about the ££.”
Another said: “It’s so wrong that visitors have to pay these costs & the fact they charge our amazing nurses too, is disgusting.
“Parking at hospitals should always be free.”
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital responded to the tweet on Monday saying Morgan was entitled to a “significant concession”.
They have since promised to refund Morgan £78 saying she should have paid £10 per day.
Morgan said: “When Georgie was in hospital for five months I was given discount parking of £10 a week but since then I have had to pay full rate every time he has had an appointment at different hospitals.
“I have spent thousands of pounds and in that time no one ever told me I could pay a concessionary rate.
“How many other families are not being told that they can pay a reduced rate so are shelling out hundreds and thousands of pounds like I have?
“It’s stressful enough having a child in hospital without having to worry if you have enough money to pay to park.
“They need to let parents know as soon as they arrive.”
A spokesman for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital told the Mirror: “We are sorry if anyone has been overcharged, we apologise, and we are actively seeking to rectify the situation.
“We provide a variety of full exemptions and discounts to our parking fees as well as signposting people to sources of financial assistance.
“We are concerned to hear that staff may have provided the wrong information and we will investigate.”