Search

More than £2m paid in parking charges at Norfolk’s hospitals

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital car park. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital car park. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Submitted

Hospitals in Norfolk made millions last year in car parking charges from patients, visitors, and staff, new data has revealed.

University Hospital car park. een 13.11.04University Hospital car park. een 13.11.04

Parking income at each of the county’s hospitals has risen year on year, with the county-wide amount reaching more than £2m.

But as figures were not available in time for publication from the county’s busiest hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the true amount is expected to be much more.

In 2013/14, the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston brought in £1,009,932 from parking. But by 2016/17 this was £1,151,534. The JPUH was the only hospital to also receive income from fines, which came to £1,322 last year.

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn £1.3m was made from parking in 2016/17 - £1m of that came from patients or visitors, whilst £323,000 came from staff. This was compared to £1.1m in 2013/14, £743,000 from the public, and £310,000 from staff.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

At Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCHC), figures were not available for 2013/14 but an extra £50,000 was made from visitors over the course of a year.

In 2015/16 visitors paid £70,018 for parking, while staff paid £30,357. But in 2016/17 £124,710 came from visitors, and £37,717 from staff.

All trusts said any income was spent on maintenance of car parks, environmental improvements, or patient services.

Across England, hospitals took £174,526,970 in parking charges in 2016/17, up 6pc on the year before.

In 2015/16, £164,162,458 was raised. The Liberal Democrats have branded the charges a “tax on sickness”.

While NHS trusts in England continue to charge patients, visitors and staff for parking, hospital parking in Scotland and Wales remains largely free.

Former Liberal Democrat health spokesman and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: “The vast sums of money that hospitals are making from parking charges reveal the hidden cost of healthcare faced by many patients and their families.

“Hospital car park charges amount to a tax on sickness, with people who are chronically ill or disabled bearing the brunt.

“All hospitals should be following the national guidelines to make sure that patients, relatives, and NHS staff are not unfairly penalised.”How does it impact patients?

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said the current state of NHS finances meant it was sometimes hard to blame hospitals for trying to find money.

But she said that did not make the current situation acceptable.

She added: “For patients, parking charges amount to an extra charge for being ill.

“Hospital appointments are often delayed or last longer than expected, so even if you pay for parking you could end up being fined if your ticket runs out.”

Lucy Schonegevel, public affairs manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Frequent trips to the hospital are unavoidable when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, or caring for someone who has. People are having to travel to receive life-saving treatment and public transport isn’t always an option.

“Vulnerable people, such as those living with cancer, shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of extortionate car parking fees.

“We feel more needs to be done by hospital trusts in England to follow the guidance set by the Department of Health and provide concessionary parking for cancer patients and their carers, including free and reduced parking charges or caps.”

Other news

Yesterday, 17:35

A model aircraft which was mistaken for a microlight caused rescuers from Lowestoft lifeboat to be scrambled.

Yesterday, 17:18

A 36-year-old man has been jailed for five years and four months after pleading guilty to 25 burglaries across Suffolk and Norfolk.

Yesterday, 17:01

An unexploded shell was found on a building site causing a widespread evacuation of businesses.

Yesterday, 16:09

Residents have given a mixed reaction to plans to radically redevelop the North Denes in Lowestoft.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:01

An unexploded shell was found on a building site causing a widespread evacuation of businesses.

Read more
Suffolk Police
Mon, 16:48

A man who died after being found on a bench in Lowestoft town centre was “fit as a fiddle and strong as an ox”, according to friends.

Read more
Peter Knight
Yesterday, 11:10

Shop owners in a community on the outskirts of Lowestoft have leapt to its defence after a national retailer announced it would not be renewing a store’s lease due to the area’s ‘demise’.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:35

A model aircraft which was mistaken for a microlight caused rescuers from Lowestoft lifeboat to be scrambled.

Read more
Mon, 14:17

A double whammy of roadworks close to Lowestoft’s Bascule Bridge lasting a total of 15 weeks will cause “chaos” for drivers and traders in the run-up to Christmas, businesses have warned.

Read more

Autumn Supplement

cover

Click here to view
the Autumn
Supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 12°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy