West hospitals make £7.5 million a year from car parking charges
Hospitals across the West are taking about £7.5 million a year from people in parking charges, research has shown.
The Western Daily Press has reported how NHS trusts in the Bristol area raked in more than £2.3 million last year, from patients, visitors and staff.
Now further analysis of figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show other West hospitals received well over £5 million.
The data was released by Gloucestershire MP Chris Skidmore, who asked trusts for detals of their income from fees over the past decade.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Mr Skidmore, who represents the Kingswood constituency, discovered that Bath’s Royal United Hospital took £1.3 million, and both Great Western Hospitals and Salisbury NHS Trusts received over £1 million.
The figure for Dorset County Hospital NHS Trust was close to half a million pounds, while Northern Devon was £548,000, Yeovil District Hospital £382,000 and Gloucestershire Hospitals £277,000. The overall West total looks likely to be higher as some trusts, such as Taunton and Somerset, and Hereford, did not list their car parking income.
Mr Skidmore, who takes a close interest in health issues, found that more than £85 million was paid out in parking at hospitals last year. That is up from £81 million the previous year, and £75 million in 2009-10, despite increasing public anger over the scale of charges. He is due to raise the issue in Parliament, when he will call for a full review of the system.
NHS bosses say that in difficult economic times they have no choice but to charge for parking – fees can be as high as £12 for a whole day – although it is free in most Welsh hospitals.
The Department of Health says: “Patients who need to go to hospital often, or for long periods of time, have a fundamental right to fair and appropriate car parking.”