Hospitals in England made a file £174m final 12 months in charging for parking, an investigation has discovered.
The determine for 2016-17 was 6% up on the earlier monetary 12 months, information collected by the Press Affiliation below the Freedom of Data Act confirmed.
The figures additionally confirmed a rising quantity of income being created from fines – up by a 3rd to £950,000.
The system has been branded a “tax on illness”, however hospitals stated charging was wanted and cash made reinvested.
Automotive parking is essentially free in Scotland and Wales.
PA obtained information from 111 hospital trusts out of the 120 they approached on fees for sufferers, guests and workers.
The outcomes additionally confirmed:
- Half of all trusts charged disabled individuals for parking in some or all of their disabled parking areas
- The Coronary heart of England NHS Basis Belief took probably the most cash – over £four.8m
- Two-thirds made greater than £1m in every of the final three years
- The most costly place for a one-hour keep was the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford at £four
Liberal Democrat well being spokesman Norman Lamb stated: “The huge sums of cash that hospitals are making from parking fees reveal the hidden value of healthcare confronted by many sufferers and their households.
“Hospital automobile park fees quantity to a tax on illness, with people who find themselves chronically ailing or disabled bearing the brunt.”
Parking ‘unfair and pointless’
Labour shadow well being secretary Jonathan Ashworth, added: “Hospital parking fees are a wholly unfair and pointless burden, which disproportionately have an effect on probably the most weak individuals.”
Rachel Energy, chief government of the Sufferers Affiliation, stated the present state of NHS funds meant it was typically exhausting responsible hospitals for looking for cash.
However she stated that didn’t make the present state of affairs acceptable.
“For sufferers, parking fees quantity to an additional cost for being ailing,” she stated.
Hospitals have defended their method to charging. These in city areas consider the parking will likely be utilized by consumers with out having a system of charging, whereas the cash raised is used to keep up automobile parks, grounds and – in some circumstances – reinvested in affected person care.
Concessions can be found in lots of locations for individuals who must make repeat visits, equivalent to chemotherapy sufferers.
A Division of Well being spokesman stated fees had been a matter for native hospitals.
However he added: “We need to see them developing with versatile choices that put sufferers and their households first.”
Revealed at Thu, 28 Dec 2017 11:35:26 +0000