The Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has released figures showing it made over £700,000 from parking fees and charges last year.
While £291,060 was made from charges and penalty fines incurred by NHS staff, £422,670 was made from parking charges paid by visitors and patients. This came to a total of £713,740.
Note that parking fees were increased on June 9, 2017.
Dorset County Hospital (DCH) said it used the money to maintain car parks and the grounds so that it won’t have to take the money from funds used for patient care.
Sarah Carpenter, National officer for Health at Unite, frowned at the parking charge fee for staff, calling it a scandal. She said her members are used as an extra income stream, and the charges will greatly reduce the effect of the recent 6.5% increase in the NHS pay package.
She said, “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.”
A spokesperson for DCH responded: “We have dedicated parking areas for staff on site and recently reconfigured the spaces to make it easier for both staff and the public to park at the hospital. We encourage our staff to use public transport to get to work if they can.”
“Many of our staff already ride to work and we are about to increase the number of pods to enable more to do so.”