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Sunday, 31 July 2005 10:16
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
SCANDAL OF NHS PARKING CHARGES
A Sunday Mirror survey has found that hospitals are filling their coffers with rip-off car parking charges.

The survey found that NHS and private parking contractors are making millions of pounds a year by forcing visitors to pay up to £55 a day to visit their sick friends or relatives.

The Sunday Mirror survey found the highest amount being levied at the world-famous St Thomas's hospital, London. Parking there costs £2.30 an hour - adding up to a whopping £55.20 for anyone keeping a round-the-clock bedside vigil.

The survey also shows charges at the 24-hour parking at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, is also high at £22.60 and the University Hospital, Wales, nearly as much at £20.80. In contrast, the same time at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital costs £4.80 and 24 hours at the Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, is just £1.

In many hospitals, visitors face an added peril - if they outstay their ticket time they often have their cars clamped and can face fines of up to £100.

Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, who has raised the issue in the House of Commons, said: "The whole thing is obscene. It's quite wrong to penalise people for being ill. Patients have to pay, visitors have to pay and staffs have to pay to go to work - the whole thing is ridiculous”.


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