NHS bosses have been criticised for charging nurses up to £1,300 a year to park at work.
GMB Union branded the tariffs an ‘outrage’ after filing Freedom of Information requests to 247 NHS trusts to find out if staff had to pay to park.
Of the 131 trusts that responded, 92 made staff pay for parking at work.
University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust was the most expensive, with full-time staff pay £1,300 to park in off-site commercial parking.
University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust was the most expensive, with full-time staff pay £1,300 to park in off-site commercial parking
Unions branded the tariffs an ‘outrage’ after filing freedom of information requests to 247 NHS trusts to find out if staff had to pay to park. Pictured is Imperial College where barrier parking is £1,200 per year
National officer Kevin Brandstatter told the Mirror: ‘Hard-working NHS staff are already being hit hard by the pay pinch, which means many are forced to food banks.
‘The last thing they need is a further kick in the teeth having to fork out hundreds of pounds to park at work.’
Former Tory minister Robert Halfon, who has long campaigned to scrap hospital car parking fees, has since introduced a bill to abolish car parking fees
General secretary Tim Roache added: ‘It is an outrage. Hospital workers who care for the sick deserve a medal, not being charged for the pleasure. Unfair charges add insult to injury.’
A spokeswoman for the Trust told the newspaper: ‘We encourage staff to travel to our hospitals without using cars and provide a free bus service from the station.
‘We provide on-site parking and discounted off-site parking for those who need to travel by car. Charges are on a sliding scale, based on salary and the Trust significantly subsidises off-site car parking so all staff are charged the same.’
Last month, hospitals faced calls to end rip-off parking fees after it emerged that nearly half have raised charges since ministers ordered a crackdown three years ago.
Patients and visitors were found to be paying up to £4 for an hour’s parking as health bosses seek to profit from what was branded a ‘stealth tax’ on the sick.
In 2014, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged NHS trusts to reduce charges, as he demanded that people should be able to get to get to hospitals ‘as conveniently and economically as possible’.
The most expensive parking fees
University Hospitals Bristol – £1,300
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals – £1,248
Barrier Parking Imperial College Healthcare – £1,200
University Hospital Of South Manchester (for restricted parking) – £1,140
Barts Health – £980
Stockport – £960
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals – £954
Tameside Hospital – £720
East Kent Hospitals University – £675
Airedale – £619
But figures show that 147 hospitals in England (47 per cent) are now charging more per hour than they did three years ago.
Former Tory minister Robert Halfon, who has long campaigned to scrap hospital car parking fees, has since introduced a bill to abolish car parking fees.
It is expected to have its debate on Friday 16 March 2018.
He told the Daily Mail: ‘No one goes to hospital by choice, they go because they have to or because they are visiting relatives or friends. It is an unjust stealth tax.
‘There should not be charges for anyone, whether you go for a week or a day, because it is not a luxury to park at a hospital.
‘What better way could there be to show that we care about the NHS than if we scrapped unfair hospital parking charges.’
He added: ‘The Department of Health guidance is not working. Some of the charges have gone down a little bit, but there are too many places where people are paying a huge whack.’