‘Nobody should be penalised for looking after or visiting the sick’: Hartlepool MP Mike Hill on new hospital parking charges

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has hit out after hospital parking charges increased.

By Mark Payne
Friday, 01 February, 2019, 15:13
University Hospital of Hartlepool

The minimum charge to leave a vehicle at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, and the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton, has risen from £3 for 12 hours to £4 for up to four hours.

The first 20 minutes remain free.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill

Mr Hill said the move was made without consulting the public and he has questioned where the money made from car parking goes.

He said: “I strongly believe that car parking at NHS hospitals should be free for patients, staff and visitors and continue to press that point in Parliament, where the argument is receiving growing support.

“Nobody should be penalised for looking after the sick, being sick or visiting the sick.

“If charges have gone up at Hartlepool hospital and North Tees we need to know why and where was the public consultation?

“We also need to know if it was a trust board decision or the decision of the private operator Parking Eye.

“Ultimately we need to know why these charges exist in the first place and where is the money going?

“If it’s to front-line services, as previously argued, that’s one thing, but if it’s into the pockets of shareholders in a private company that is entirely different.”

Cameras of company Parking Eye monitor the car parks in addition to onsite security.

NTH Solutions LLP, a subsidiary of the trust manages its car parks.

The trust says any surplus income is reinvested into patient care.

Managing director of the LLP, Mike Worden said: “Ensuring the patients and visitors of the University Hospital of Hartlepool, as well as the wider North Tees communities, have fairly priced and appropriate parking facilities is of utmost priority.

“The new car parking tariffs include a number of concessions including a £6 for all day charge and for people requiring longer term concessions a 7-day pass for £7.

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“The LLP is committed to ensuring there are regular reviews of both the facilities we provide and the associated tariffs ensuring they continue to be appropriate, secure and value for money.”

In October, the Mail reported how the trust took over £728,000 in the year to March 2018 from charges and penalty fines incurred by NHS workers parking across all its sites.

A further £1.2million came from patient and visitor parking charges in the same financial year.

The new charges do not apply to Hardwick Road car park, opposite the North Tees site in Stockton, or Peterlee Community Hospital.

New Charges

First 20 minutes Free

Up to 4 hours £4

Up to 12 hours £5

Up to 24 hours £6

7 Day Permit £7

Old Charges

First 20 minutes Free

Up to 12 hours £3

Up to 24 hours £6

28 day parking for regular visitors £10