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16
Nov

Perking fees ‘a tax on the sick’


Data for parking prices charged at more than 370 NHS hospitals were lodged in the House of Commons Library this week, prompting patient groups and Ministers to questions the soundness of Trusts’ decisions to hike rates.

Data for parking prices charged at more than 370 NHS hospitals were lodged in the House of Commons Library this week, prompting patient groups and Ministers to questions the soundness of Trusts’ decisions to hike rates.

According to The Telegraph, the data show that some hospitals tripled fees for “patients and their friends and relations, with a handful now charging £3 an hour for parking”.

In much of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, hospital parking is free on the NHS, but in England there were 121 hospitals (32%) that increased their fees. Only 10% of all hospitals in the country reduced their parking fees.

The Telegraph reports that Two hospitals, Arrowe Park in the Wirral, and Clatterbridge, on Merseyside, tripled their fees from 83p an hour last year to £2.50.

Patients' groups says parking fees are a “tax on the sick” and want free parking at all hospitals but ministers say it would cost the NHS £200m to do so – money that would have to come from the care budget.

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