Worksop's hospitals trust raised over £1 million charging staff, patients and visitors to park last year

Worksop’s hospitals trust raised more than £1 million through charging staff, patients and visitors to park last year, figures reveal.

By David Kessen
Monday, 18th January 2021, 7:00 am

But there will be no repeat for the current 12 month period – as the organisation abolished the charges in March 2020, say officials.

NHS Digital data shows the trust, which runs Bassetlaw Hospital, at Kilton Hill, Worksop, as well as Doncaster Royal Infirmary, and Montagu Hospital in Mexborough, made around £1.7 million through parking charges and penalty fines in the year to March 2020.

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Bassetlaw Hospital parking problems.

Of that, £1.1 million was paid by patients and visitors, while £646,827 was raked in through charging staff to park.

Figures reveal that patients and visitors paid an average hourly rate of £1.40 at the most expensive of the trust's four sites, while staff dug out 12p per hour at the priciest spot.

Across England, NHS trusts raised £289 million from parking charges – nearly a third of which came from staff parking, generating £90 million over the year.

Dr Kirsty Edmondson Jones, Director of Estates and Facilities at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “As an organisation, we took the proactive decision to suspend car parking charges in March 2020, ahead of the national policy across the NHS.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary

“When they were in place, our parking fees help us to cover general maintenance and upkeep for our on-site roads, as well as investment in CCTV and other security improvements to ensure that as much NHS income as possible is spent for the benefit of our patients.”

The Government announced last year that it would cover the costs of providing free car parking to NHS staff working in hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. However, it said the scheme would end in all but "certain circumstances" as the pandemic eased over the summer.

Rachel Harrison, the GMB union's national officer, said it was "sickening" to see workers forced to shell out for parking again as some trusts reintroduced charges for staff.

Patients' rights campaigners the Patients Association said while billing people to park at NHS car parks is a "charge on people who are unwell," it provides much-needed income for trusts at a time when their finances are under pressure.

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