Thousands of NHS Staff Charged £80 a Week for Parking
- Hundreds of hospitals charge NHS workers for parking
- Over 100 also charge for disabled parking
- Costs up to £80 a week for parking charges
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.
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