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NHS staff charged over £2m to park at Surrey hospitals

3 minute read
NHS staff charged over £2m to park at Surrey hospitals

Published at 12:47pm 17th October 2018.

Staff at Surrey's major hospitals paid more than £2m in parking charges and fines last year.

Figures released by the NHS show the trusts which manage Frimley Park, Royal Surrey and St Peter's hospitals made around £2.13m from NHS workers parking at their sites.

Meanwhile patients shelled out over £6m across the same area, bringing the total paid to around £8.3m.

Unite, a union which represents around 100,000 health workers, has slammed the "scandalous" figures, which it said amounted to a "tax on hard-pressed" employees.

Sarah Carpenter, national officer for health at Unite, said: "Such a large figure will take a large chunk out of the gains in the current NHS pay package which saw most staff get a pay rise of 6.5% over the next three years.

"This pernicious trend is replicated by financially squeezed trusts across England - our members are being used as an extra income stream for these trusts.

"We would like a situation where dedicated NHS staff, who don't earn a fortune, don't have to pay to park their cars to go to work to look after the sick, the vulnerable and the injured 365 days a year."

British Medical Association council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, added that it was “unacceptable” for hospitals to plug financial gaps by charging and imposing fines on staff.

Decisions on how much to charge patients, staff and visitors to NHS sites are made by individual trusts.

Nationally NHS trusts throughout England made a combined total of almost £70m from staff parking charges over the year to March.

A spokeswoman for NHS Improvement said income generated was used to pay the costs of providing parking, while excess funds were put into clinical services.

She continued: “As we develop the long-term plan for the NHS, it is right that trusts continue to develop their commercial income opportunities.

“This is so that they can maintain their services and ensure they can provide patients with high quality care, both now and in future.”

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