Three hospital trusts in Lancashire made more than £5m from charging for car parking last year, a Freedom of Information request revealed.
READ MORE: Lancashire hospitals raise millions in "tax on sick" parking fees
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, collected £2,263,000 in 2016/17. University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust collected £1,077,000 and Blackpool Victoria £1.6m.
Trusts defended the fees, saying park maintenance costs should not be taken out of patient healthcare funds.
Here’s what Post readers had to say on our social media channels:
“It’s wrong to tax the sick and underpaid nurses. Just wrong.”
We have always been lucky with our son’s blue badge – however, the other week we had to take our son to assessment and were there seven hours, plus two specialist consultant appointments,X-rays and bloods. We spent over £50 in one week...I can’t keep that up on DLA and Carers’ Allowance.”
Sally Curzon Smith
I believe the money goes to the hospital trust, which I have no objection to, though personally I don’t use hospital car parks unless there’s simply no alternative. My dad just spent six weeks in Manchester Royal. We were visiting almost daily. From Preston, that’s £50-70 a week in petrol plus eating out because of a lack of time at home. No way were we paying for parking on top!
So frustrating. I don’t want to go to the hospital but they moved my ante-natal care from community midwives to consultant-led. Meaning that every other week I have to spend three hours at a clinic at RPH costing £5.50+ in parking each time. You get free maternity prescriptions but I spend £11+ a month in parking fees. I’d rather go back to local community care where the appointments take 15 minutes and I don’t have to spend 20 minutes driving round looking for a space. With no alternative/cheaper transport option from where I live, I’m left with no choice but to drive. I dread hospital days.”
They will be charging the disabled for using their wheel-chairs in the corridors next!”
I pay between £15 and £20 per month which is new to me as I have a blue badge. If it has to be paid, there should be an accounting of where the money is used as it certainly not spent on the carparks.”
You do realise that money goes into maintaining the car parks and funding the ever tightening budgets for hospitals.”
I accept that there are charges but object to paying extra when the consultant is running late. That is unfair.”
It’s the same price as a pint! Get your priorities right! If your visiting someone in hospital, you get free parking after two weeks.”