NHS hospitals generating millions from parking charges

In the UK, there has been considerable public and bureaucratic movement of late to reduce the cost of car parking charges for hospital patients, in the face of growing debate about profiting from the health system customers.

Consumer body ‘Which?’ recently conducted research via 126 freedom of information requests, rating hospital car parks according to their capacity, convenience of payment methods, frequency and type of penalities, charging structure and profits, and communication with patients.

The research has named four ‘biggest offenders’ for clamping, fining, charging and generating complaints from patients and those visiting them; with Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust clamping 1,671 cars and making a profit of £1,851,271 in just one year.

The consumer body discovered that Leeds general infirmary issued 10,330 fines generating £142,000 from April 2008 to April 2009, Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals NHS trust has the highest minimum charge at £4 for two hours of parking, while the Royal Derby received the most complaints (82).

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