Hospitals criticised over parking fees

The FOI request made by the Press Association found that seven trusts earned more than £3 million in 2014-14, with a further eight making more than £2 million a year.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust generated the highest total, taking in £3,876,314, with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust raising £3,728,000 and the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust making £3,413,413.

Many trusts defended the money generated, saying it was reinvested into patients care or car park maintenance, but the Patients Association has criticised this information, saying that the large profits are ‘morally wrong’.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: "The money is never reinvested in frontline services. Hospital car parks are often managed by private contractors who take a huge percentage of the profits. This is morally wrong.”

Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne also questioned the large amounts generated through parking fees, saying the situation was ‘worrying’.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We expect all NHS organisations to follow our guidelines on car parking, including offering discounts to disabled people.

"Patients and families shouldn't have to deal with the added stress of unfair parking charges and our guidance rightly helps the public hold the NHS to account for any unfair charges or practices."

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