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Lib Dems call for review of nurse car parking charges


The Liberal Democrats have questioned whether nurses should pay NHS car parking charges, and called for a review into the issue.

The call follows latest figures showing that last year NHS hospitals made over £110m out of car park charges, an increase from £102m in 2006-2007.

The figures were revealed through a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Health, made by the Liberal Democrats. It showed that in 2007-2008 visitors were charged £84m and NHS staff were charged £28m in car parking charges.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: ‘This is a staggering amount of money for the NHS to be making from car parking charges. No one is denying the need for hospitals to cover their costs but that doesn’t mean they can use hidden charges to help themselves out of financial black holes.’

Mr Lamb added: ‘We now need an urgent review into whether hardworking doctors and nurses and the chronically ill should be paying these charges at all.’

The FOI request revealed that three hospitals made over £1m and three made over £2m. Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge had the highest income of £2.8m from car park charges.

To reduce costs for patients and staff the Department of Health has previously recommended that trusts introduce discounted NHS staff charges, ‘season tickets’ to reduce the price of parking for those with long term illnesses and their prime visitors,  a weekly cap on parking charges for those attending on a daily basis and a sliding time scale of charges.

Nursing Times carried out a three-month campaign called Free Parking, calling for the abolition of parking charges for nurses in England. Scotland and Wales are in the process of dropping such charges.  


Readers' comments (2)

  • I think it is an absolute disgrace that nurses have to pay to go to work Patients and visitors are making big issues about having to pay but how would they feel if they were having to actually pay to go to work.It should be stopped immediately when trusts are making millions out of car parking fees.In the hospital where i work in the evening the visitors dont park on the top car park where they have to pay but come down to where the night staff park and we then have nowhere to park There is no security on in th evening to stop them.It really gets our backs up.

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  • I cant think of any other employer that charges their staff to park at work. At my local trust the staff are all required to park at a park and ride and catch a bus in. Quite how this will work at 2am after a twilight shift remains to be seen. And the staff have to pay £250 per year for this! Anyone living in certain nearby postcodes will not be given any access to parking or allowed to use the park and ride. This does not take into account that staff may have other commitments such as taking children to childcare prior to coming to work. My job includes providing home visits and I will not be allowed to take my car on site! It's all a money making scheme so they can change all the staff parking to visitor parking which is more lucrative. And the charges for the visitors and patients are horrendous. I wouldn't be surprised if the staff look for new jobs elsewhere!

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