Sheffield hospitals make £2.8m from car parking charges

Parking at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield
Parking at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield
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Patients, visitors and staff were charged more than £2.8 million to park at Sheffield’s hospitals in the last year.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust earned £2,801,117 from parking in 2015/16, new figures today reveal.

Parking at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield

Parking at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield

Patients and visitors paid £2,193,884 and staff £607,233 to park at the Northern General, Hallamshire and Weston Park hospitals.

Only six NHS Trusts in England made more money from parking charges than Sheffield, the figures show.

But revenue from car parking has fallen in Sheffield – the Trust raised £3,126,108 in 2014/15 and £3,002,865 in 2013/14.

Hotel services director at the trust Kevin O’Regan said: “The figure of £2.8 million is not profit, it is the income we receive.

“As the UK’s second largest trust the number of car parking spaces we have is significantly more than most and so our income in comparison will always appear higher.

“We have almost 3,800 car park spaces which are used several times a day by patients, visitors and staff. We care for more than two million patients and have a similar number of visitors each year.

“Once maintenance and new development costs are covered, any surplus income we receive is always reinvested in NHS services here in Sheffield. We provide free parking for disabled patients with a blue badge, and a number of concessions in place. We also have free drop-off zones for accident and emergency patients and mums in labour and there is an NHS Travel concession scheme for patients who are on low income.”

Patient Yvonne Hanson, aged 50, of Deepcar, comes in by bus and tram from Stocksbridge for treatment at Weston Park Hospital.

She said the free car parking for patients is often full so she is often forced to use public transport.

“It can be four hours by the time you have your appointment, then get your connecting buses,” said Yvonne, of Whitehead Avenue.

She gets the tram then walks up the hill from the University stop ‘because the buses are not that brilliant’, she said.

Mick Pickersgill, from Woodseats, takes his partner Charlotte Barber to Weston Park Hospital every month for chemotherapy.

He said: “I think the charge is a bit over the top. It was free up until October and we have only recently been issued with a disabled blue bade, so prior to that we were spending quite a lot of money on parking.

“But if it’s going back into the NHS then I don’t have a problem with it.”

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said it was unfair that hospital parking in Wales and Scotland was largely free but that patients in England were still forced to pay.

She added: “The shocking reality about car parking charges is that they are taking money from the sick and vulnerable to top up NHS coffers.

“This is not what car parking charges should be used for.”