In December 2015 the BBC found that hospitals were making millions of pounds every year from car parking charges and that most hospitals charge for disabled parking. Charities such as McMillan Cancer and groups such as the Patients Association have said that hospital car parking charges are morally wrong especially for the disabled and those attending hospital for life saving treatment. The Patients Association also state that the claim from hospitals that car parking revenue is reinvested into front line services is simply not true.
At Royal Surrey County Hospital the minimum cost of parking is £4.00 for up to 2 hours and Blue Badge holders are required to pay a flat rate of £4.00 per day to park at the hospital. This makes it one of the most expensive hospitals to park in the country.
We submitted a Freedom of Information request to Royal Surrey asking how much money the hospital has received from the company managing the hospital car park. The response was as follows:
Total Sum Received by the Trust (£)
Year - Period - Sum
2010 - Apr 10 - Mar 11 - 579,167.00
2011 - Apr 11 - Feb 12 - 536,080.00
2012 - Mar 12 - Dec 12 - 524,246.00
2013 - Jan 13 - Dec 13 - 748,161.00
2014 - Jan 14 - Dec 14 - 946,578.00
2015 - Jan 15 - Dec 15 - 905,053.00
2016 - Jan 16 - Dec 16 - 1,089,515.00
2017 - Jan 17 - Jun 17 - 466,277.00
Since 2010, over £5.5 million has been raised for the hospital from car parking charges. The hospital was unable to tell us how much profit the car parking companies were making, but we can assume that patients in Guildford have paid far more than this over the past 7 years.
The proper way of funding the NHS is through progressive taxation, so everyone takes a fair share of the cost. Raising millions from those already sick, or caring for the sick is completely against the principles of the NHS.
The Labour Party considers Hospital parking charges as a tax on serious illnesses and will end hospital parking charges for patients, visitors and staff. These charges place an unfair and unnecessary burden on families, patients and NHS staff.
Guildford Labour calls upon Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to make a stand and stop charging patients, visitors and staff to park. We will be campaigning at the hospital next week and have organised a petition which you can sign here:
Our NHS needs a Labour government that will stand up for the many, not the few.