Should out-patients and visitors be charged to park at hospitals?

image
Print Friendly

Many hospitals around the UK charge out-patients and visitors an hourly fee to use their car park when attending appointments or visiting patients.

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.

Many patients are admitted to hospital for a number of days or weeks, and family members can end up paying a large amount of money for parking over a long period to offer comfort and support to their loved ones during visiting hours. Is this morally wrong?

An investigation reported by the BBC showed hospitals were making increasing amounts of money from staff, patients and visitors – including those who are disabled – who used their car parks. It also found hospitals were giving millions of pounds to private firms to run their car parks for them, with some receiving money from parking fines. Others are tied into private finance initiative contracts, where all the money charged from car parks goes to companies under the terms of the scheme.

Do you have to pay to park in your local hospital when you attend appointments or visit a friend or relative? Are the parking charges at premium rates?  Is paying to park to visit a hospital morally wrong? Should these parking charges be abolished?

Should out-patients and visitors be charged to park at hospitals?

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

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password
iestynlad
18th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
My husband spent a week at a specialist hospital having a heart operation. The cost of travelling there and then parking was astronomical for me and if he hadn't been on paid sick leave from work we'd have been unable to afford to visit him. Each time I went there I thought of all those people who couldn't afford the journey and parking and left a sick person all alone needing support. It is an absolute disgrace that we are having to pay parking charges.
bagpuss
18th Mar 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Utterly awful. People are ill and/or stressed as this is just taking advantage. The only "maintenance" my local hospital does to their car park is to employ parking wardens so if they were not there then no payment needed!
tedith
2nd Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Until my local hospital started charging to park it was virtually impossible for anyone to park for appointments or visiting. The car parks were filled by commuters who left the car there for the day and caught the bus for the then small journey to work,or car shared with other people so all saving parking fees.A permit for reduced fees IS available for long stay patients BUT has to be asked for.
sparrer
26th Feb 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I visited my mother for four weeks when she was dying. The last thing I wanted to be was be bothered about finding change for a machine, then on some days having to go back and put more in.
When people are visiting as an outpatient they don't need the stress of paying through the nose to park, after all they're not there by choice and it's very seldom a pleasure.
leonard
26th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I voted no to paying premium parking rates,but i think fixed rate of a couple of pounds for maintaining the car park should be charged.
jentie51
24th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I voted yes in this poll, as I know that hospitals are not allowed to use any of their budget to maintain car parks. Even staff have to pay - it costs my son £22 a month to park outside his place of work. Those of us without cars have to pay bus or taxi fares. Admittedly, I possess a senior citizens' travel pass, but as local bus services are, at best, unreliable, I frequently have to shell out £6 to ensure arriving in time for an appointment.
Janchris
14th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I call hospital my second home, i am there most weeks for blood tests, checks and treatments, i have a illness, not my choice, i am not going there for a day out, i get no help with nothing, it is wrong to charge sick people to park or visit someone who is sick.
marydennis
12th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
The public should not be charged. Staff should not be charged. In general the public are not aware that us employed by the NHS also have to pay. I see the deduction on my payslip, and count it as just another tax!
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
At least we payed a yearly fee and was 'means tested', the amount paid depended on your salary. You could also only have a permit if you lived outside of a given radius, worked permanent nights or were on emergency call at least once a week. This applied to all staff regardless of status. However, it didn't automatically guarantee a parking space and you would be fined if you parked in the public/patient car park. I have no objection to staff paying but don't think patients or visitors should pay, however, as tedith has already pointed out before charges were introduced people would park in the hospital car parks and then catch a bus into to town because it was cheaper. I'm not sure there will ever be an answer to the problem.
JinxB
11th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
One thing I object to with car parking at hospitals is you go for an O/P appointment at 10:30 you don't get seen until 12:30 then you have to get blood tests done with another hours wait and then back to the original doctors and have to wait for another hour, that means you have to pay have to pay £6.50 for four hours car parking, all because of the disorganisation of the OP dept, if you came in went straight for blood tests before seeing the specialist it would save time and money but you can't get the bloods done until the doctor sends you. he knows when your aappointment is made if you are going to need further tests done before you get to see him so why not do the routine tests like ECG, bloods BP etc first!
JinxB
11th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I used to work at a hospital in the NHS as an engineer, this was part time work 3 days a week 61/2 hours a day but I still had to pay £20 a month parking charge to get a non guaranteed parking place , I lived 20 miles from the hospital and public transport was not an option,I had to get to the hospital over an hour early to get a parking place and even then i sometimes failed, in the end I gave up work as the cost of travel and parking made it uneconomical to carry on
Krazee
11th Feb 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I know that at my local hospital that the staff have to pay for their parking which I find ridiculous especially for the night staff as they can't get there by public transport.
celtwitch
9th Feb 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
We think nothing of slapping £30 on the bar for a round of drinks, but get angry when forced to pay to park.
I think we should pay, but the price should be low, £1.00 per day is fair, I think?
JinxB
11th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I certainly don't pay out £30 for a round of drinks, on the wages I earned I couldn't afford to, I worked part time 3 days a week but had to pay for a monthly season ticket for a non guaranteed parking place, any later in the car park than 07:00 no parking places I didn't start work until 08:30 and lived 20 miles away with no public transport available.
Rohart
9th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Maybe visitors could be charged a fixed fee of say £1 or £2 but patients and staff should be able to park without charge. At the moment, charges are extortionate. Also, we have no way of knowing if charges are used for the hospital or, say, to provide junkets for the trustees and their friends and families. Car Parking charges should certainly NOT be raised to pay private firms to manage car parking. That is just a rip-off.
Polly-Rae
9th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Charges should be reasonable and affordable AND should go into the hospital coffers and not to some car park company. An over-ride option for friends and family, who will be staying for hours and hours whilst visiting terminally ill or seriously hurt patients, would be helpful....
Mags 55
8th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I wouldn't mind paying say a minimum £1 charge - I know £1 doesn't sound much with but with the amount of people using hospitals the £1 would make a tidy sum for the NHS. I also agree with one of your other members - why not employ someone to control the carpark - it would give someone a job & it would be properly monitored. Where I live locals leave their cars in the hospital car park & then all jump into one car to travel the other few miles to work. Having someone employed to monitor the car park would stop this. Why should I & others have to pay to park because other people abuse it? Also nobody wants to have to go to hospital in the first place!
rubbish51
7th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
At Bournemouth hospital they charge for parking like N.C.P. car parks. ie you get a ticket when you arrive and pay when you depart.Previously you had to guess what time you would spend at the hospital. ie 2 hours pay for that and if it ran over, you'd get the dreaded ticket. So this system is better.
The Law Courts are just down the road, plus offices etc, so if they didn't charge,no one would get parked.
Personally I think they are worth every penny.
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree that's a good system and is used in a number of hospitals (including number plate recognition) however, it doesn't help if you are attending outpatients and your appointment goes way past the time expected. It seems a little unfair to have to pay for 3 hours parking following a supposedly 10 minute appointment but clinics were running 2 hours late because doctors are having to work on wards as well.
justbill
7th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
you have enough on your mind regarding visiting a loved one or keeping and appointment for your self and you don't have any idea how long you are going to be
Silver Belle
6th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Even staff had to pay where I used to work! Charges, if they have to be made, should be minimal to convert cost of maintaining the parking area and cctv.
molly 65
5th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
People who attend hospital regularly don't do so for enjoyment or for the fun of it, they do so because they have medical problems that require sorting. I think it is outrageous- especially for people with disabilities!
JohnHerb
4th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Its totally outrageous charging at hospital s car parks. Get a bloke on the barrier and if you are not a worked, patient or visitor pay . If not don't -simple and common-sense. Helps with security as well for everyone and gives a job to someone
Westminster
4th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I used to be a frequent patient at Kingston upon Thames Hospital Eye Clinic.

Before parking charges it was impossible to get parked because commuters parked there all day as the car park is so close to Norbiton Station.

Now it is relatively easy to find a parking space.

We pay to the NHS to provide medical services, not car parks.

If you don't want to pay for parking, use public transport as all major hospitals are accessible on public transport.

I despair sometimes of my country people when I see how many have become 'freeloaders'.

I would concede though that there should be a maximum charge for patients that have to spend more than four hours at the hospital.
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I don't disagree with what you are saying other than not all villages have an accessible bus service to the hospital. I do use public transport to attend an outpatient appointment but have 3 bus changes to do so and have to give myself nearly 2 hours to ensure I get there on time.
Jo Kingham
4th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Nobody wants to go to hospitals and nobody should be charged - you never used to be. If you are someone who has to attend regularly for whatever reason then you should absolutely be exempt. Many hospitals don't charge you when you go for treatment such as chemotherapy which helps. Seeing as you are often kept waiting for hours too just adds insult to injury. All parking charges at hospitals should be scrapped in my opinion.
Bryn
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Outpatients should never have to pay, as a regular outpatient most of the car parking time I have to pay for is spent waiting. Appointments are always late, recently I had to wait 45 minutes for my appointment and then 1hr. 48m. for a blood test. The total time spent with the Consultant and phlebotomist was less than 30 minutes but I had to pay £3.60p. for parking, nothing short of daylight robbery.
Last year I spent a total of three weeks in hospital and parking was costing my wife £5 per day, a total of £105, how can that possibly be justified. I think a £1 per visit would be more than enough, hospitals are making millions because we need to be there and like our spouses to visit.
WendyD99
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
We actually live in Cyprus and all State hospital parking is free here, given that it is very easy to spend several hours to attend an appointment that is as it should be.
JohnHerb
4th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree Wendy
Marley444
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I had an out-patients appointment yesterday, and the minimum charge was £3.50!!! My appointment was at 9.30 and I was back in my car at 9.50 ... great efficiency from the hospital but I felt totally ripped off! The highlight of my visit was discretely giving my parking ticket to the man who parked in the space I vacated to save him £3.50. It is all wrong!
Kes
4th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
This is one of the greatest, most outrageous scandals involving the NHS and our Government. We are paying out to fill the coffers of greedy car park contractors who have no business being involved in NHS hospital car parking. "But the charges get ploughed back into patient services" cry the money grabbing NHS bean counters and ambivalent executives. What tosh! We, the public, be us patients, visitors or staff, are already paying more than enough to cover absolutely all NHS services, which are described time and time again by the Government, as being free at the point of need. Yes, the NHS and Government can fully afford all the treatments, services and care we might need throughout the whole of our lifetimes and even have some left over. But there is quite staggering mismanagement on a clossal scale which they all co-jointly refuse to accept and take responsibility for. So, where does the point of need start? I'd say it starts right at the entrance of each and every hospital car park.
Marley444
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
jillb57
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Just come back from a hospital appointment, paid £2 for 2 hours because I wasn't sure how long I would be in there , got seen straight away and was out in 30 minutes so could have just paid £1. Two days ago at a different hospital with my son paid £5 for 3 hours and had to go out to the car park and get another ticket because the xray department was very busy , it would be so much better to pay on exit then you can just pay for what you use and your not having to clock watch, most hospitals are so big its a trek to get from car parks to departments and back again.
Marley444
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Completely agree with you .. I paid £3.50 yesterday for 2 hours and was back in my car in 30 minutes .. such a rip off!
BernieM
4th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I don't mind paying if the money was going to the hospital one hospital I have to attend only charges one pound for up to 2 hours which is reasonable some charge £1.60 for an hour which if your appointment is delayed by no fault of your own it can become costly.
Wilf
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Its simple. have a guy on the gate who asks what you are doing and who is the patient or who are you going to see. It should be free. I have been to St Peters in Chertsey-Brilliant Hospital by the way-when my father who is in his late 80s had a heart attack and I didn't have enough money for the machines. What a fiasco and all I wanted was to see him for 45 mins. I think if they have to charge anything monies should go to the hospital and NOT private companies
thefilthycripple
4th Feb 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
At local hospitals I am not keen on excessive charges. However I attend StThomas' hospital in London and they have to charge ,otherwise no patient would be able to attend the hospital because the already inadequate car park would be full of freeloading commuters !
wellie
4th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I would only justify paying for parking if the hospital was benefitting and not the carparking company.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Speakers Corner

Do you boil your Brussels? Cleaned brussel sprouts on a wooden cutting board with exterior leaves and a knife.
Brussels sprouts are a Christmas dinner must have but not to everyone likes them. You'll be...
Real or Artificial - What kind of Christmas tree will you have? Fresh cut Christmas trees
Each Christmas there is a ‘debate’ over real versus artificial Christmas trees. The...
Do you agree with Cryogenic Preservation? Excess smoky nitrogen gas discharge during filling of a liquid nitrogen dewar.
This week it was announced that a very brave 14 year old girl who had terminal cancer had won...
Should shops remain closed on Boxing Day? Boxing Day Sale cinnamon star on green wood concept.
A petition calling for a ban on shops opening on Boxing Day has attracted close to 194,000...
Will you be sending Christmas cards this year? Bracknell, England - October 28th, 2014: Vintage style Christmas cards. Modern cards originated from a printing in 1843 instigated by Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a...
Do you still use cheques as payment? Signing a blank cheque with a fountain pen
** Note: Shallow depth of field
Cheques books have been used in the UK for over 350 years but they are now on the decline. In...
Are you surprised that Donald Trump won? Saint Louis, MO, USA - March 11, 2016: Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown Saint Louis
After months of campaigning, debating, mud slinging and scandals, the Americans have voted and...
Do you mind the gap? toblerone
The makers of Toblerone, Mondelez, have taken the decision to widen the gaps between the...
Should Nigel Farage be ennobled in the House of Lords? LONDON, UK - MAY 1, 2016: Nigel Farage seen arriving at the BBC to attend the Andrew Marr show
There are calls for Nigel Farage to be made a Lord and take his place as a peer in the upper...
Should the FA defy the poppy ban? poppy
England are due to host Scotland at a World Cup qualifying match at Wembley on November 11 ...
Who would you trust more to be the next US President? LONDON UK - MARCH 3RD 2016: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump pin badges over the American flag symbolizing their battle to become the next President of the United States 3rd March 2016.
With the latest results today from ABC/Washington Post tracking poll, now showing Donald Trump...
Should the UK have a complete ban on selling Ivory products? ivoryburn2 900x600
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef come wildlife campaigner, has been looking into the shocking...
Do you think Princess Beatrice and Eugenie should be given royal duties? London UK - June 17 2006: Princess Eugenie (left) and Princess Beatrice seating on the Royal Coach at Trooping the colour ceremony also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade
** Note: Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizes
It was revealed in the sunday papers that there is a nasty feud brewing between Prince Charles and...
Do you rake or vacuum? Yorkshire Dog on the autumn leaves blur
Autumn is in full swing, and the leaves are rapidly changing from luscious shades of green, to a...
Where do you think the extra runway should be built - Heathrow or Gatwick? Airplane touch down on runway during sunset
Since the 1970s various UK governments have been debating how to expand the UKs potential to...
Are the Government right to do a Pension U-turn? bigstock-Pensions-11274911
The government has done a huge U-turn on Pensions and scrapped the rights of 5 million pensioners...
Do city zoos still have a place in a modern society? gorilla in zoo
Last week’s incident at London Zoo, in which a male silverback gorilla escaped his enclosure...
Are hospital trusts cashing in on the sick? Ticket machine at the exit of a car park
Patients in England are being penalised with increasing parking charges with 30% of hospital...
Is BA trying to pull the wool over our eyes? BARCELONA SPAIN - DECEMBER 11: A British Airways Airbus A320 taking off on December 11 2014 in Barcelona. British Airways is the international airline of Great Britain with its headquarters in London.
Last week British Airways proudly announced that they will be partnering with Marks & Spencer...
Are we being ripped off? TERRY'S CHOCLATE ORANGE
It seems to happen every year now, that chocolate manufacturers start messing with our favourite...
If you were American would you vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? July 27, 2016: Illustration showing Republican Donald Trump versus Democrat Hillary Clinton face-off for American president with words Election 2016 on isolated white background done in stencil retro art style.
Last night was the first of three of the big TV debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald...
Will you still watch The Great British Bake Off without Mary Berry? Mary Berry
Earlier this month we asked our Silversurfers should the  Great British Bake Off should remain...
Do you prefer the new £5 note? chuchill-sterling-note
A new plastic £5 note that features Sir Winston Churchill and can survive a spin in the washing...
Should all cats wear a bell-collar? Closeup frontal view of calico cat with its recently caught wild bird.
According to statistics, there are 8.1 million cats in the UK that kill 275 million "prey items...
Had you planned to retire earlier than you are now able to? Worried senior woman, an elderly pensioner counting utility bills at her home, concept of financial security in old age
Changes in 1995 and 2011 to the state pension age mean women born on or after April 6, 1951 can...
Blue or Burgundy passports? biometric passport on a page of visas
It has just been announced by a Home Office Minister that the old blue passports for UK residents...
Should The Great British Bake Off remain with the BBC? WARNING: Embargoed for publication until: 28/07/2015 - Programme Name: The Great British Bake Off - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: +++Publication of this image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 hours Tuesday July 28th 2015+++ Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc, Mary Berry, The Great British Bake Off contestants - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Mark Bourdillon
First Top Gear, then The Voice and now Great British Bake Off. The BBC has lost the contract to...
Do you support the Junior Doctor's latest planned 5 day strike? Doctor. Close-up. Doctor hands crossed with stethoscope.
There is continuing unrest in hospitals as we hear today that Junior Doctors have more plans to...
Should an immediate ban on microbeads in toiletries be imposed? Illustration of lotion bottle with zoomed in particles of microbeads or lotion
Many cosmetics and toiletries such as shower gels and anti-ageing creams, scrubs and even...
Do you take HRT? Menopause - diagnosis written on a white piece of paper. Syringe and vaccine with drugs.
Following more than a decade of controversy, today we wake up to the news that hormone replacement...
Should the Government create more Grammar Schools? Portrait of three students: two girls and a boy in the middle of them. They're looking at camera and smiling. Blackboard behind them.
Theresa May and Justine Greening the new Education Secretary have said they would like to open...
Is Climate Change really happening? The Effect of Global Warming is shown on a landscape
The weather is an obsession with the British and no wonder with all the changes we get during our...
Should Punch and Judy be banned at public events? WEYMOUTH, DORSET, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: Holiday makers sitting on the sands of Weymouth beach to watch a traditional Punch and Judy show on August 31 2012.  The old fashioned performance is attracting more tourists to the area.
Punch and Judy shows have been going for 350 years after one was first performed at Covent Garden...
Are the school holidays too long? the text school holidays made from modelling clay of different colors and some beach toys such as toy shovels and sand moulds, on a rustic wooden surface
O f course everyone needs a break: teachers, pupils, parents, all of us. And it’s lovely to...
Are you tempted to plan a digital detox? Trash Bin Button
Internet overload has led millions of people in the UK to take a "digital detox", according to...
Do you floss? Daily health care. Young man cleaning flossing his white teeth with dental floss
It seems like simple, sensible advice to improve our health : Eat five portions of fruit...