NHS hospitals across England made over £120 million from car park charges in 2015/2016, an investigation has found.
The amount taken from charging patients, staff, and visitors, for parking was up 5% on the year before, and is rising year-on-year, according to data collected by the Press Association and summarised in an RAC news story. Some 120 NHS Trusts across England were asked to give figures on parking charges and fines under the Freedom of Information Act, with 89 responding. Overall, Trusts netted £120,662,650 in 2015/16 in car park charges, up from £114,873,867 the previous year. In all, 27 Trusts provided data on parking fines, showing they made £2,300,208 in fines over a four-year period. In 2015/16 alone, £635,387 was made from fining patients, visitors, and staff, on hospital grounds.
The Press Association’s research indicated that over half of Trusts that responded to the FOI request were making over £1 m in car park fees every year, while ‘almost half’ of all English NHS Trusts d charge disabled people for parking in some or all of their disabled spaces.
Many Trusts said the majority or all of the money was put back into patient care or spent on maintaining car parks or grounds. Last October, a Press Association investigation revealed that a third of English hospital Trusts had increased their car parking charges in the past year.
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, carers, and staff who work shifts.”