Third of hospitals increase 'exorbitant' parking charges

A third of hospitals increased their parking charge

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A third of hospitals in England increased the cost of parking last year, making over £250 million from the charge in 2018/19.

Overall, 47 NHS trusts increased their parking charges between 2017/18 and 2018/19, typically by 10 per cent, an investigation by the PA news agency found.

Hospitals made £254 million from charging for parking in 2018/19 - up 10 per cent on the previous year and a record high.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is currently the most expensive in England for an hour stay, charging £4.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust comes in at second with a charge of £3.80 for an hour, followed by Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust at £3.60.

A survey of 7,883 patients and visitors who had used a hospital car park in the last two years said they objected to the "exorbitant" prices.

Overall, 86 per cent of those polled said parking added to the stress of a hospital visit, and 49 per cent said nobody should have to pay for parking at hospitals.

Only England's hospitals routinely charge for parking - car parks are largely free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Deputy chief executive of NHS Providers ,Saffron Cordery, said increases in the cost of parking were frustrating, but were necessary.

"These parking facilities must be maintained, lit well, and secure. Parking facilities must also provide good access for patients, families and staff.

She said abolishing charges could cost around £200 million per year, and trusts would have to find funding from elsewhere, which could "impact on patient care".

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