Parking charges net over £2million at Sunderland hospitals

Hospital parking is a source of contention. It is free in most of Scotland and Wales

Nationally, NHS hospitals made a record £174m in the past year from charging patients, visitors and staff for vehicle parking, up six per cent.

According to new figures, NHS hospitals made more than £174 million from vehicle park charges in the 12 months.

Hartlepool's MP has condemned parking charges after new figures show the town's hospital trust took in nearly £6million over three years.

"The income from these auto park charges contribute to the provision of patient care and the maintenance of the vehicle parks, and the charges for parking at the hospital have remained unchanged for more than five years".

The Liberal Democrats have branded the charges a "tax on sickness". At Colchester we are working very hard on a major new programme to provide better access and vehicle parking at the hospital.

Some 120 NHS trusts across England were asked to give figures on parking charges and fines under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, of which 111 responded.

The most expensive trust in the country for a one-hour stay is the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, where patients pay £4 if they need to stay for an hour.

First Republic Bank (FRC) EPS Estimated At $1.24
After $2.72 actual EPS reported by The Boeing Company for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 5.51% EPS growth. The firm has a market capitalization of $13,756.37, a PE ratio of 20.48, a P/E/G ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 0.96.

Some hospitals defended the charges, saying some or all of the money was put back into patient care or was spent on site maintenance.

"There are a range of concessions for patients and visitors, including unlimited parking for a month for £10 and all day parking for £3", he said.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said the current state of NHS finances meant it was sometimes hard to blame hospitals for trying to find money.

"Patients who require disabled parking may have little choice but to access their care by vehicle, and may need to do so often. Labour will abolish vehicle parking charges and scrap this needless strain on already anxious families".

"We also recently opened a new £2 a day auto park opposite the University Hospital of North Tees so all visitors can get a parking space during busy periods".

"We would encourage visitors to park in trust auto parks as all income from the vehicle parks is invested directly back into supporting frontline services and helping give the very best care we can to our patients". "All hospitals should be following the national guidelines to make sure that patients, relatives, and NHS staff are not unfairly penalised".

Health campaigners condemned the charges as extortionate while the Department of Health said that "complex and unfair parking charges" could add to families' stress.

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