Thousands of NHS Staff Charged £80 a Week for Parking

Elizabeth Elden
9th April 2018, 12:00 PM
  • Hundreds of hospitals charge NHS workers for parking
  • Over 100 also charge for disabled parking
  • Costs up to £80 a week for parking charges

Over 300 hospitals are charging NHS staff for car parking. Image: Getty

Almost a third of hospitals charge their staff for car parking, new figures show.

Doctors and nurses at 348 hospitals in the UK with parking facilities are being charged for their parking, according to NHS data.

The average charge up to £2 an hour, which totals £80 for a 40-hour working week, however one hospital in London, St Thomas’ hospital, charges £3.20, which is the highest charge.

The data, which was reported by the RAC Foundation, also shows that 132 hospitals now charge for disabled parking.

Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director, said, “Few parking issues are as incendiary as charging people to leave vehicles at hospitals, be they patients, visitors, or staff.

“Many hospitals are on built-up locations, on constrained sites, so some sort of control is inevitable, but this needs to be proportionate and stress free.

“Government guidance encourages hospitals to use pay-on-exit systems.

“This would at least mean the anxiety associated with a hospital visit is not compounded by paying up from and having to predict how long a visit will last.”

Parking charges put a further squeeze on NHS workers, who have faced a pay freeze for seven years, although have now been granted a 6.5% pay rise.

Seventy five members of staff at a hospital in Cardiff were left owing thousands of pounds in parking tickets last year.

Some complained that a lack of spaces left the forced to park in unauthorised areas.

NHS workers can now get a discount at Starbucks if they’re carrying a Blue Light card.

Gerry O’Dwyer, senior employment relations adviser at the Royal College of Nursing, said, “Hefty parking charges are disadvantaging nursing staff who work around the clock to keep our NHS afloat.

“Many work through the night to care for patients and using public transport to get home isn’t an option.

“Hospital car parks require running and maintenance costs but after years of pay restraint, nursing staff should not be overcharged for doing their jobs.

“The Government isn’t giving the NHS the funding it needs, but struggling hospitals should not try to make money off their staff.

“Their goodwill won’t last forever.

“We need reasonably car parking provisions with reasonable and affordable charges.”

An investigation by the Press Association last year revealed that NHS hospitals made a record £175 million in 2016 from charging patients, visitors, and staff for parking, a rise of 6% on the previous year.

Do you think NHS car parks should be free? Let us know in the comments.

Comments
garygemmell
garygemmell12 months ago

Disgraceful!

Its free in Scotland!

Patient parking is also free we dont have these problems.

We also have free prescriptions.

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ColinAnderson
ColinAnderson12 months ago

Not if you work in Ninewells Hospital Dundee, Glasgow or Edinburgh PFI means I have to pay £2.30 per day or £36 a month for a pass which cant even guarantee you a parking space. Whats disgraceful is that if you park in the short stay carpark that £2.30 only gives you 2 hours parking.

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garygemmell
garygemmell12 months ago

ColinAnderson Thats terrible no idea what PFI is but all the NHS hospitals i go to are free for nurses and patients.

I take it PFI means private??? The thread is on NHS hospitals!!! - does that not mean you get a private wage???

As far as I understand it , PFI hospitals are just run by big banks and equity firms and is crippling the NHS - Thats even more disgraceful - I presume you are a nurse or orderly?

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ColinAnderson
ColinAnderson12 months ago

I am a Wheelchair Technician with NHS Tayside in an NHS Hospital so I'm nothing to do with the PFI company that runs the car parks.

It stands for Private Finance Investment, basically the company that owns the car parks built a multi story car park next to the building I work in and took over the whole car parks on a long term year lease and still has about 22 years to go before the PFI is payed off.

they are always wondering around ticketing people who do not park properly or if the ticket has run out and as I say because of the lack of spaces patients are suffering because they cant get to their appointment on time and return late to find a £10 fine on the car.

Even more scandalous is that there are disabled spaces but these too have to pay the £2.30 charge for two and a half hours .

It also causes problems in the surrounding areas with people parking on streets, some badly.

I wouldn't mind paying if you could make sure I have a space but as I say if you aren't parked by 9am you have to sit and wait for a space to open up.

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garygemmell
garygemmell12 months ago

ColinAnderson NHS will be gone before 22 years is up I reckon at this rate and PFI is destroying the NHS from what I understand they are the main reason the NHS is failing due to loan repayments £980 million in interest alone this year thats madness - I feel your pain lol Its bad enough sitting in traffic for an hour but then to have to wait for a car space - I would rather just take the bus these days!

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GraceMilet
GraceMilet12 months ago

Terribe

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