Poole hospital made more than £1m in parking charges past year

28 December, 2016, 13:53 | Author: Glen Fletcher
  • Many trusts defending their parking revenue

"The Trust does not believe that the funding we receive for patients' care should subsidise the cost of providing and maintaining auto parks".

Charging staff, patients and visitors for parking allowed hospitals across to England to collect more than £120 million previous year.

Some 120 NHS trusts were asked for figures under freedom of information rules.

Parking fines paid to other trusts past year included £13,000 to Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and £12,780 to Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

The 27 trusts which gave information on parking fines made £2.3million from them over four years, including £635,387 in 2015/16.

But some trusts are also handing money to private firms, such as London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which made £968,170 in charges but a further £1,262,194 was kept by Apcoa under a private finance initiative contract.

That includes Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who made £1,162,653 previous year.

That Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust made £78,595 in the past financial year does not suggest that hospitals are using motorists as a "cash cow" to prop up their fragile finances - this money equates to the salaries afforded to three junior doctors.

The majority - £3,465,357 - came from patients and visitors, whilst staff paid £1,375,751.

Earlier this year Poole Hospital shift workers told the Echo they felt "demoralised and stressed" after being told they could no longer park at the hospital and had to walk to park at Poole Stadium or the Dolphin Centre instead - while managers were unaffected by the changes.

"The NHS is clearly underfunded, but the onus on meeting the funding crisis should most certainly not be shouldered by the sick, injured and vulnerable".

The data collected by the Press Association showed that hospitals across England made more than £120 million from charging for parking in 2015/16 - an increase of 5% on 2014/15.

Some large trusts, such as Oxford University Hospitals NHS foundation trust and Royal Surrey, failed to provide figures for 2015/16.

"We take a very clear line that vehicle parking fees need to be scrapped or strictly capped", she said.

NHS hospitals appear to be making more money than ever from parking fees.

She added: "It is not right that fines should be so heavy-handed on sick and disabled patients". A further £1,262,194 went to the private firm Apcoa under a private finance initiative (PFI) contract to manage the multi-storey auto park at Northwick Park hospital.

"The current situation is wholly unfair and will only cause more stress for patients, families and carers".

The Department of Health said hospitals should "follow our guidelines and put concessions in place for those who most need help".

"Government guidance is very clear that cancer patients in England should not continue to pay unfair hospital parking charges".

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