Hospi­tal park­ing among the most ex­pen­sive

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

VIS­IT­ING loved ones dur­ing hospi­tal treat­ment can be a dif­fi­cult time enough with­out wor­ry­ing about the cost of park­ing.

West Lon­don­ers face a dou­ble whammy as their hospi­tal park­ing charges are among the most ex­pen­sive in Eng­land.

It will set you back an av­er­age of £3 an hour to park at Chelsea and West­min­ster Hospi­tal, one of the high­est av­er­age hourly rates in the whole of the coun­try.

The cost of park­ing at the hospi­tal has risen by more than a third from an av­er­age of £2.20 an hour in 2015/16, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the Es­tates Re­turn In­for­ma­tion Col­lec­tion, pub­lished by NHS Dig­i­tal.

Park­ing charges for staff at the hospi­tal have also been in­creased, with the cost ris­ing by half from an av­er­age of 28p per hour in 2015/16 to 42p in 2016/17, mak­ing the site also one of the most ex­pen­sive in Eng­land for staff park­ing.

At Queen Char­lotte’s Hospi­tal, Char­ing Cross Hospi­tal, Ham­mer­smith Hospi­tal, and St Mary’s Hospi­tal, all run by Im­pe­rial Col­lege Health­care, the av­er­age cost for an hour of park­ing is £2.20.

The price has re­mained the same as in 2015/16 at all of the hos­pi­tals ex­cept St Mary’s, which did not charge for park­ing in 2015/16.

Park­ing charges for staff at all of the hos­pi­tals have also in­creased, up 17% from an av­er­age of 35p per hour in 2015/16, to an av­er­age of 41p per hour in 2016/17.

North­wick Park and St Mark’s, Cen­tral Mid­dle­sex Hospi­tal, and Eal­ing Hospi­tal, run by Lon­don North West Health­care, all charge an av­er­age of £2.13 an hour to park, up from £2.03 an hour at North­wick Park and St Mark’s, and up from £2 an hour at the other two sites in 2015/16.

How­ever, all three hos­pi­tals have cut prices for staff to an av­er­age of 8p per hour, down from 10p per hour at North­wick Park and St Mark’s, 11p per hour at Cen­tral Mid­dle­sex Hospi­tal, and 24p per hour at Eal­ing Hospi­tal.

Pay­ment for staff park­ing has been in­tro­duced at the Royal Mars­den Hospi­tal in Chelsea, at an av­er­age of 26p per hour in 2016/17.

Out of 472 acute hospi­tal trust sites across Eng­land, 303 charge pa­tients for park­ing, which is 64%, down from 305 sites in 2015/16, and 307 charge staff to park, which is 65%, up from 303 in 2015/16.

There are 121 trust sites (25%) that charge for dis­abled park­ing, up from 117 in 2015/16.

Of these, 21 sites started charg­ing for dis­abled park­ing in 2016/17, while 13 stopped charg­ing in 2016/17.

St Thomas’ Hospi­tal, in Lam­beth, is the most ex­pen­sive place to park as a pa­tient, at an av­er­age of £3.20 per hour, while Royal Bolton Hospi­tal is the cheap­est of those that charge at an av­er­age of 13p per hour, or more likely around £3 for 24 hours.

Nine sites started charg­ing pa­tients in 2016/17, in­clud­ing St Mary’s Hospi­tal in West Lon­don, where it is now an av­er­age of £2.20 per hour to park, and Hurst­wood Park Neu­ro­sciences Cen­tre in Hey­wards Heath where it av­er­ages £1.20 per hour.

Across Eng­land, 15 sites started charg­ing staff to park in 2016/17, with staff at the Royal Mars­den Hospi­tal, Chelsea, pay­ing the big­gest new cost at an av­er­age of 26p per hour. Seven sites stopped charg­ing staff in 2016/17.

The hospi­tal trusts have been ap­proached for com­ment.

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