News

NHS staff in England pay almost £70 million in parking charges – in just one year

NHS trusts' parking fees are a tax on hard-pressed workers, says union 

NHS trusts' parking fees are a tax on hard-pressed workers, says union 

NHS organisations in England charged NHS workers £69.5 million in 2017/18 in fees and fines incurred by parking at its sites, according to NHS Digital.


NHS nurses in England often have to pay to park at their workplaces. Picture: Neil O'Connor

The union Unite, which represents about 100,000 healthcare workers, said the parking charges amounted to a tax on hard-pressed employees.

'Scandal'

The union's national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: ‘It is a scandal that NHS trusts in England have pocketed nearly £70 million from staff car parking charges.

‘Such a large figure will take a large chunk out of the gains in the current NHS pay package which saw most staff receive a pay rise of 6.5% over the next three years.’

Ms Carpenter said staff were being used as an extra income stream for financially squeezed trusts.

‘We would like a situation where dedicated NHS staff – who don't earn a fortune – don't have to pay to park their cars to go to work to look after the sick, the vulnerable and the injured 365 days a year,’ she said.

A different approach in Wales

Hospital parking charges were abolished in Wales earlier this year after the last contract with a private firm expired, a decade after the Welsh Government announced parking would be free.

Parking charges have also largely been abolished in Scotland, but remain in Northern Ireland as well as England.

'Commercial income opportunities'

An NHS Improvement spokesperson said income generated from parking was used to pay the costs of providing parking facilities, while excess funds were put into clinical services.

‘As we develop the long-term plan for the NHS, it is right that trusts continue to develop their commercial income opportunities,’ they said.

‘This is so that they can maintain their services and ensure they can provide patients with high-quality care, both now and in future.’


In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.

Jobs