Are hospital trusts cashing in on the sick?

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Patients in England are being penalised with increasing parking charges with 30% of hospital trusts having raised their parking charges over the last year.

The most expensive hospital carpark in England is the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford which costs £4 per hour; this fee has doubled over the last 3 years. At the other end of the scale, car parking at Trafford General Hospital in Greater Manchester is free for up to three hours.

The most expensive trusts in England (for a one-hour visit)

  1. Royal Surrey County Hospital £4
  2. Hereford County Hospital: £3.50
  3. Stockport £3.50
  4. Bristol Royal Infirmary £3.40
  5. West Suffolk Hospital £3.30

Laura Keely, campaigns manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said charges are particularly unfair on cancer patients. “They often need to make frequent trips to hospital. They should not be left out of pocket in order to receive life-saving treatment.”

Some NHS trusts offer concessions to visitors whose loved one is terminally ill and also discounts or weekly tickets for lengthy courses of treatment.

Visiting hospitals is not something anyone would choose to do.  Patients are vulnerable and quite often anxious and visitors can be distressed too.  Is it right that at a time like this you are charged to park your car, quite often at a premium rate?  In addition to this, the charge is usually on an hourly basis, and attending hospital can be unpredictable in terms of time required, so there is an additional stress factor imposed when pre-purchasing a parking ticket.

What are your views? How much is the hourly charge at your local hospital? Is paying to park to visit a hospital morally wrong? Should these parking charges be significantly reduced or abolished? 

Are private parking companies cashing in on the sick?

319 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Yanky03
12th Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
nhs premises belong to the taxpayer why should we pay to
park on our own land.
JinxB
11th Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
What I object to is turning up on time for an appointment at say 10:00 not getting seen untill 11:30 being sent for blood tests after a 2 minute consultation this took 45 mins and then having to wait another hour for a further consultation to be told you will have to make another appointment for next week because the consultant has left to do his work at the local private hospital, this happened to me a few weeks ago, it cost me £6.70 for 4 hours car parking to get no treatment, when I complained I was told it was out of their hands and why didnt I go private, they don't charge for car parking!!!
Barton babe
28th Oct 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
My late husband had cancer. When he attended pathology followed by chemo we had a free car park ticket, but for any other department for the same illness, we had to pay for the car park.
happystar
20th Oct 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes, the charges are unacceptable, so don't pay them, get a friend to drop you off and then pick you up. Boycott the hospital car parks and let their barriers and paypoints turn to rust.
richardherts
16th Oct 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Having spent over £50 visiting my father who was dying of cancer at Medaway hospital I was really annoyed at being charged to pick up the death certificate that was waiting for me at reception. Their helpfull, joke, booklet suggests donating money to one of their charities.
tedennis
16th Oct 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
It is a sign of the times we live in, when hospitals can charge for parking something is very wrong. They are supposed to be caring for the sick not penalising them. If parking in hospitals is difficult then they should provide park and ride free. Anyone going to a hospital is not going for fun, its because they have to.
jeanmark
16th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm not sure it is reaonsable to expect a hospital to provide this facility as park and ride should be provided by councils. Our city council have reintroduced charges for park and ride because they were losing money!
Bunny51
16th Oct 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I am disabled with a Blue badge and I still have to pay for parking
Wilf
16th Oct 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
That is really bad
Vietjock
15th Oct 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Our local Hospital has just introduced parking charges, the 1st 20 mins are free I can not recall ever getting an appointment and be out in 20 mins. So its £3 or £60 fine everyone is parking on surrounding streets much to the annoyance of local residents
kman35
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I think it is dreadful taking advantage of people who are ill in this way. Having recently had surgury it cost my wife a fortune in car park fees over the two weeks I was in hospital, it's a disgrace.
jeanmark
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I have mixed feelings with regard to this having worked in the NHS for 47 years. Parking has to be provided but there is rarely sufficient funding to pay for security and up keep. Our NHS Trust have installed barriers which means you pay depending on how long you have stayed, but that doesn't necessarily help if you are visiting or your outpatient appointment is running late. Payment for our staff parking permits was based on earnings and the area in which you lived but was no guarantee of a parking place. If you lived outside of a 25 mile radius you were not allowed a permit and that included doctors. Staff who had to be on-call were exempt. You were not allowed to park in visitors parking and those who had to do the school run before work stood no chance as places were very limited. There are some who believed staff should not be allowed parking places because they were needed for patients and visitors but did expect staff to be present to meet their needs!

There are reasonable Pay and Display car parks with regular services to the hospitals but they don't always meet the needs of working hours or hospital appointments.

I don't have an answer to the problem but the NHS budget is constantly squeezed and money has to be raised some how. When one considers Type 2 diabetes alone costs the NHS 1 million pounds a day, you get some understanding how expensive health care is. I am not sure what people are expecting as their health care needs are free at the point of delivery and I am sure private parking companies are taking advantage but no one has come up with a better option.
Sanron
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I think it is disgraceful people have to pay so much for car parking in hospital grounds. Why don't the hospitals give each visitor a token, maybe charge them £1 to cover upkeep and this way you would not get people who are not visiting parking there, if they don't have a token then charge them £20, they would not park there then without a token, thus freeing up space for the real visitors.
JohnHerb
21st Oct 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes thats a very good idea-I agree they need to charge something but not the extortionate amounts charged currently
Wilf
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes I agree its a disgrace especially when you are taking money from those in distress anyway. i would not mind if it was reasonable say 50p an hour but our local is £4 for min 2 hours!!!!
Mommaof4
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
No body visits a hospital for a treat, we visit because we have to, sometimes sadly to see very sick friends and relatives. Other times we are sick and scared and wanting help, why should anyone profit from another's pain? Because this is what it is pure profit.
There is a budget used for parking and this has been ignored. It does not need to be paid for from our fear and sadness. It's cruel and unhelpful.
HJR58
14th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Our local hospital uses the money raised to pay for the security staff and maintaining car parts within the hospital. There is a fixed charge and discount for relatives of the critically ill. I don't begrudge it.
Lionel
14th Oct 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Please queue up for the red thumbs down button. I don't care. Someone must speak out for the NHS!

Car parking charges are not even the tip of the iceberg.

The NHS is grossly under-funded when set against the increasing demands placed upon it. The staff at are breaking point. So many are stretched beyond their limits.

Advances in medical technology cost money - last I heard half a million pounds for a scanner!

There's a black hole in the pension fund. Add to that, as I read recently in our press, since the beginning of the financial year £800,000,000, yes eight hundred million pounds, has been paid out in compensation claims - I'm sure a good many were spurious claims.

We need to get some reality about the NHS. Our National Insurance contributions don't cover pensions or our health service.

The NHS needs a massive amount more funding if it is to survive in the form we know it - free at the point of need.

It seems to me there are three choices before us.

1) Leave funding as it is and watch the decline in services - medical staff emigrating, better treatments for us unavailable and facilities closing. I mean here either unnecessary pain and suffering or possibly a preventable early death. It could be your child or grand child. It could be you!

2) Pay for private medical care - some people already do that, but also must pay National insurance. No cost benefit there. But is private care so readily available as the NHS? Not in my experience.

3) Raise taxation across the board, including our pensions. The NHS gets 196 billion pounds a year now and it can't cope with demand. It has been suggested 250 billion pounds a year would meet today's demands. If we all gave an extra twenty pounds amonth directly to the NHS what a difference that would make!

My family has not always been served well by the NHS, but none the less, so many millions more have. Thus, I'm not so partisan as it may seem.

But I plead with you tonight, kidnap your M.P.'s, besiege parliament, do whatever, but get NHS funding increased to realistic levels.

If not, we'll all suffer, your family and mine.
jeanmark
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
No red thumb from me Lionel.
Wilf
14th Oct 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
My brother has pleurisy and is in hospital. I have been 4 times this week £4 for 2 hours. Robbery!!!
Sarah Dowds
1st Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Is public transport a viable option?
Wilf
1st Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Not really as we live in the country
jeanmark
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Sorry to hear that Wilf and hope he gets well soon. The parking charges do appear steep but I have no idea what their overheads are so I'm not really in a position to comment.
Wilf
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Many thanks Jean...yes he is getting better slowly thanks to the amazing staff at Guildford Hospital. I just think £4 for minimum 2 hour stay is in the "rip off Britain" sector!
Lionel
14th Oct 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, my sympathies are with you for your brother's present state. I trust he will recover fully and be his normal self.

I concede your parking charges may seem like robbery. Perhaps that is the case. I don't know.

But my case is, somehow, the NHS needs, actually absolutely must, be funded properly. Parking charges are but a plaster over a gaping wound which won't heal until money, very serious amounts of it, are applied.

If you and I are writing on SS we're fifty years old or over. I'm sixty five. This is the time we begin to need long term drug therapy, physio etc., and it costs money. Someone must pay!

A point I haven't made yet about the NHS. Our parents delivered a Health Service to our generation which worked. It took care of us youngsters. Question, unrelated to parking charges - what are we delivering to our children and grand children?

I put it to you, it is nothing compared to that we received.

Maybe it's time to think again about the personal value of the NHS to us and our so valued descendants. What are we leaving them?
Wilf
15th Oct 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree Lionel-simple answer...put all the lottery money towards NHS and if we need more raise taxes. When one is very ill one reaslises the most valuable thing in the world after time is health
Happysoul
14th Oct 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Hello ,I enjoy receiving silversurfers lots of great and informative material even though i am not able to benefit from some of your offers as i live in australia, keep up your great work .
Thankyou
Helen
Wilf
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Do you have a National Health Service in Australia Happysoul?
winky
14th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
VERY WELL SAID PATCAF YOUR SPOT ON!
MarionGunn
14th Oct 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
My husband had a heart attack and was in Basildon CTC. Having been called at work and rushed there finding money/ credit card for parking was an extra stress.
Over the 3 days he was an inpatient they must have had in excess of £50 from myself and other family members. Pluswe often had to queue to park as there were never enough spaces.
patcaf
14th Oct 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
It is really the hospitals' fault as they have sold the car parking rights to private companies. The NHS/Government should never have allowed it. They are making money from the sick and elderly who are often the poorest in society; but you cannot blame the private parking companies as all they are doing is responding to opportunity offered by the hospitals. Blame the Chief execs of the hospital trusts as they need the money to pay their extortionate salaries and bonuses.
JohnHerb
21st Oct 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes I agree with you. Its the same at our local station its now private all the charges have gone up and if you mispark its a £80 fine-what a joke!
Wilf
15th Oct 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Thats a whole oter subject. A lot of these bureaucrats in the NHS are earning more than the PM. Its a total joke. Same as the BBC. The justification is they need to pay such high salaries to attract the best managers. Well not working is it. These managers just spend their time probably having meetings about meetings-hopeless
jeanmark
15th Oct 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm not sure one should blame Chief Executives salaries, parking charges would not go anywhere near paying those.
Wilf
19th Oct 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
True Jean but if enough of us have to pay (and in big hospitals its probably hundreds daily) it will all mount up!
Jo Kingham
14th Oct 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Outrageous! No one wants to be ill and no one wants to visit hospitals - parking should be free.

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