Hospitals received more than £50 million in car parking fees this year despite the pandemic restricting access for many and Boris Johnson vowing to axe them for the most vulnerable.
According to the Sun newspaper, patients and visitors paid £48,256,988 to park at hospitals across the country while doctors and nurses forked out £5,272,954.
This means that NHS trusts received in total £53,529,942 during a 12 month period where many were barred from attending hospitals because of the pandemic.
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting criticised the costs and said: ‘NHS staff are exhausted.
“Prices are on the rise. They get no thanks for the heroic effort they made to fight this pandemic. Parking fees rip-offs.
According to the Department of Health, hospitals were given funds for suspending charges. They should therefore not charge staff or those who are most in need.
Hospitals received more than £50 million in car parking fees this year despite the pandemic restricting access for many and Boris Johnson vowing to axe them for the most vulnerable
The report stated that the NHS trusts were responsible for setting car parking fees and revenue should be returned to front-line services.
It happens despite Boris Johnson’s commitment to eliminate ‘unfair’ hospital parking charges in the Conservative manifesto leading up to the 2019 general Election.
According to the Tory leader, his proposals offered free parking in hospitals for disabled and able-bodied drivers.
It was a pledge to abolish ‘unfair’ parking charges in the NHS for certain groups, such as disabled patients or terminally ill people.
This manifesto promised that there would be no NHS trust left without money as a result of the change.
Some hospitals, despite this promise, have stated that parking fees are a condition for their private finance initiatives contracts.
During the pandemic, access to hospitals was greatly restricted but trusts still raked in £53m
Boris Johnson, Tory leader and photographed in 2019, pledged to eliminate ‘unfair’ hospital parking fees as part of his manifesto for the Conservatives during the General Election.
After he announced that the NHS would charge workers for parking at English hospitals, Prime Minister Cameron was furious.
Matt Hancock was the health secretary in the beginning of the epidemic. He promised that the ministers would pay for hospital parking costs for NHS workers ‘going beyond and beyond every single day’ in England.
The Department of Health stated that the program could no longer be continued indefinitely, and that only key patient groups and employees in certain circumstances would be allowed to park free of charge.
The move was criticized by doctors, and the British Medical Association called it a “refutation to the enormous efforts of staff members and the sacrifices that they have made in order to protect others’.
Many NHS workers have complained about receiving tickets when they return to their vehicle after completing a hospital shift.
Dr Chris Gough, who works in intensive care at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff, had parked his car in one of the site’s multi-storeys at 7.46am on Wednesday, December 1.
He returned from his 13-hour shift to the carpark just before 9pm, and drove home. He received from ParkingEye a notice stating that he had to pay a parking fine three weeks after completing his 13-hour shift.
Dr Gough claimed that despite having a staff parking permit, he found out later it was invalid for the specific area in which he needed.
He received help from fellow doctors, who also shared their plight via Twitter. Dr Farbod Babolhavaeji was a UHW emergency medicine consultant and said that the situation was “utterly dishonorable”.