Even though in the past one year, cists of stay has been increased by over 40 per cent of all NHS trusts in the UK, recent documents suggests that hospitals in England are making generating millions of pounds in car parking charges.
The price of car parking for patients and visitors have been doubled by some trusts, found an investigation using freedom of information requests.
NHS trusts generated over £226m in 2017-18 from parking, including penalty fines in the month of October according to analysis of data published by NHS Digital.
An information request by the Press Association requests on parking charges, which was responded to by a total of 124 NHS trusts in England, showed that parking fees for prices in the past year for visitors or staff, or both was increased by 53 (43%) of the trusts. The rest said that they did not increasing parking charges.
His party planned to scrap hospital car parking charges, confirmed the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. “It’s wrong to charge people to visit loved ones in hospital and the staff who care for them,” he said.
The charges amounted to “taxing the sick”, and despite the fact that there was financial trouble for the hospitals, this was not a “green light to charge patients”, said the Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman, Judith Jolly.
“Charges for car parking at hospitals are a charge on people who are unwell, levied on them because they are unwell,” said Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association.
Data shows that millions every year from parking is being made by some of the trusts that have put up parking prices. £4,452,481 from charging staff, patients and visitors in 2017-18 was made by Frimley Health in Surrey, one of the highest-earning trusts in England. In comparison, it had made £4,126,587 a year ago.
In Wales and most of Scotland, such parking charges have been abolished. The enhancement of parking fees has been defended by some hospitals in England and claims that a portion or all of the money is pumped back into patient care or in maintaining the car parks.
People were urged to check what discounts were available for cancer patients by Moira Fraser-Pearce, the director of policy and campaigns at Macmillan Cancer Support.
“Cancer can have a significant impact on people’s finances and if they have to pay to park at hospital in England, these charges can add considerably to this – especially for those undergoing treatment on a daily basis,” she said.
“If the government put more money into the health service, charges could be scrapped, and nurses, porters and their NHS colleagues would no longer have to pay through the nose simply to park at work,” said the Unison union’s head of health, Sara Gorton.
“We have made it very clear that patients, their families and our hardworking staff should not be subjected to unfair parking charges. NHS trusts are responsible for these charges and ensuring revenue goes back into frontline services, and we want to see trusts coming up with options that put staff, patients and their families first,” said a Department of Health spokesperson.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)