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Hospital parking victimises NHS patients


NHS patients and their families are the victims of wheel clamping, fines and too-high costs in hospital car parks, according to a report.

A study from a consumer group Which? collected data from 126 NHS trusts and hospitals in England was performed naming the Royal United Hospital Bath the best NHS hospital car park in England for offering patients, their friends and family a large number of priority spaces and different payment methods.

The hospital was also praised for the way it communicates with patients.

In September last year, former health secretary Andy Burnham announced that hospital car parking charges for in-patients, their families and friends would be scrapped within three years in England.

The coalition government has no current plans to carry this through.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the issue was still being looked at.

“It’s clear that, where parking charges are making it difficult for staff to do their jobs properly, where they are damaging patients access to services, or where they are stopping friends and relatives from visiting - they are too high, and hospital trusts have a responsibility to look at those factors.”


Readers' comments (19)

  • High car parking charges at hospitals are quite simply a tax on ill-health.

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  • All one has to do is to look at today's newspaper and see how much Epsom & St. Helier's trust has made from clamping cars £1.8m+ in 2008/2009. The minimum cost of parking in some hospital is £4. It's just another way of taxing us.

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  • Patients again? What about the staff it penalises!!!!

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  • Phil Dup

    So if we make car parking one big free for all who is going to pay for their building and upkeep ? .....if it comes out of Trust budgets we all know how they will make up that shortfall......yep bloody healthcare staffing cutbacks so we do even more work for the same pay.
    There is no such thing as a 'free' car park - even at the likes of Tesco / Sainsburys et al - the upkeep comes from our shopping bills.
    We need to get over this anachronistic idea that the NHS should be one big free pot for everyone to have a dip in - times are a changing and everything is going to get a lot harder and paying a few quid for a car park will one day seem like a luxury.

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  • They should at least allow free parking for staff Phil

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  • our hospital..won't say which of course. Let a private company build two car parks instaed of financing them themselves. The private company is now making four million a year from each.. That's alot of patient care if the so called ppl in charge had any bloody sense!!!

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  • Steve Williams

    So hospital staff in the UK have to pay for parking at their own place of work? Chugging amazing!!

    Someone said parking charges were “yet another tax on health” - yes probably - but surely it also amounts to an instant pay cut for hospital employees?

    Given that grass-roots NHS staff are so, proportionately, poorly paid you’d think the privately owned car-park companies could reciprocate some compassion by handing out free seasonal parking permits for the very people that provided the lucrative cash-cow for them in the first place.

    Nahh, cutting nurses and ancillary workers some slack - too much to expect of course.

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  • Health- stealth- wealth. Sound very much alike, dont they? It's a sad reflection on 'our NHS' of the 21st century when people are making a dollar through exploiting the ill/relatives and worst of all, their carers!!

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  • Talk to me about parking! Several staff members like myself live over an hours journey from the hospital. As we arrive after 7.30 am and leave before 20.00 we have been victimised. We are expected to use the park and ride which adds an extra 30mins to my journey am and pm. I am looking for another job but as a CNS for chemotherapy/haematology not many jobs around. Interestingly the car park on 2 levels is now almost empty. Apparantly they are selling off various levels to others in the area. I say typical of the NHS. What a rotten organisation it is. Is it any wonder people are leaving in droves. What happened to recruitment and retention?

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  • Why are the staff always forgotten?

    Patients' relatives can have all the free parking they want, as long as they don't expect any staff to actually be there to treat their loved ones.

    It's a joke! A parking permit for staff costs enough as it is but they can't even guarantee a parking space and so we end up having to pay extra to park in visitors parking.
    It's an absolute NIGHTMARE if you have to be in and out of the hospital for meetings and things. How are we supposed to use the flippin' park and ride which essentially only runs for staff working first thing or finishing at night?

    A member of staff here tried to park the other day, couldn't find parking and so asked the parking attendant what she should do or where she should park. His response? He just turned around and told her to go back home. I mean HELLO??

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