Hartlepool hospital trust's Â£5million from parking charges
Hartlepool's MP has condemned parking charges after new figures show the town's hospital trust took in almost Â£6million over three years.
New figures found NHS hospitals made a record £174million in the last year from charging for parking.
University Hospital of North Tees made £1,812,329 in 2016/17, £1,785,970 in 2015/16 and £1,710,042 in 2013/14, a total of £5,308,341, according to figures from the Press Association.
Peter Mitchell, director of estates and facilities at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, defended its record on parking.
“There are a range of concessions for patients and visitors, including unlimited parking for a month for £10 and all day parking for £3,” he said.
“We also recently opened a new £2 a day car park opposite the University Hospital of North Tees so all visitors can get a parking space during busy periods.
“We would encourage visitors to park in trust car parks as all income from the car parks is invested directly back into supporting frontline services and helping give the very best care we can to our patients.”
But Hartlepool MP Mike Hill MP condemned the charges: “Charging for car parking at the hospital is something that regularly features in my postbag, and as recently as yesterday a constituent wrote to express her frustration about the cost to her when attending the Urgent Care Centre,” he said.
“I am a strong believer that nobody should have to pay to park while attending hospital for treatment especially, and that staff should also be able to park for free.
“The amount of income generated by the trust is staggering and, although they say that all of it is invested directly back into supporting front-line services, I would question how much goes to paying the private contractor Parking Eye and how much is spent on salaries.
“At the very least it yet again highlights the chronic underfunding of the NHS when up and down the country Trusts, are having to prop up services through the use of Car Park charges, even to the disabled.”