NHS hospitals take record £120m in car park charges

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 

NHS hospitals have made more than £120 million from car parking charges in the last year, reveals reports.

 

Hospital visitors and staff paid out at least £18m in parking fees across the region last year.

 

Patients in England spent five per cent more on parking last year compared to the year before.

 

For those living in Wales and Scotland hospital parking is free and campaigners want the Government to either cap or scrap the fees in England too.

 

Many trusts defended the changes. Stating the money is used for patient care or maintaining car parks. 

 

Overall, NHS trusts netted £120,662,650 in 2015/16 in car park charges. This is an increase from £114,873,867 the year before.

 

The information was released by 89 of 120 NHS trusts from across England, following a freedom of information request by the Press Association.

 

More than half of trusts who responded to the FOI requests are making more than £1million in car park fees every year, with some also handing money to private firms.

 

Almost half of all England’s NHS hospitals even charge disabled visitors for parking in some or all of their disabled spaces.

 

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was high on the list generating £78,595 last year on fines and £424,585 over four years.

 

As well as parking charges, visitors paid parking fees of nearly £1.8m to the Trust last year. 

 

At the top was the Heart of England B+NHS Foundation Trust making £4,841,108 across the year. This included £3,465,357 from patients and visitors and £1,375,751 from staff.

 

Almost £40,000 was collected by the trust in parking fines.

 

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford was the most expensive trust in the country for a one-hour stay where patients are forced to pay £4 for any stay up to two hours.

 

A department of Health spokeswoman said: “We expect all NHS organisations to follow our guidelines and put concessions in place for those who most need help, including disabled people, career and staff who work shifts.”

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