Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 28, 2016

English Hospital Patients Discriminated Against?

In what is becoming a major concern to NHS England and English patients, Katherine Murphy, the chief executive of the Patients Association, said it was unfair that hospital car parking is free at hospitals in Wales and Scotland but not those in England. To English patients this is blatant discrimination.

In 2013 Parking penalties for motorists were cut at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals after a row over the huge fines charged. Geoff Wilding the Facilities Manager, then said “The fixed penalty notices fee has fallen from £60 to £30, providing it is paid within 14 days. We have agreed this with UK Parking Control, the company that monitors parking on the Trust’s behalf, in response to feedback from visitors”. The penalty for notices unpaid after 14 days also falls from £120 to £60. UK Parking Control Ltd ukpclogo issues penalty notices to drivers who park in Blue Badge spaces they are not entitled to, park on pavements, park on double yellow lines, or block access to essential clinical services and emergency services such as ambulances and fire engines. The Trust receives no income from fixed penalty notices which fund Parking Control’s management costs”. 

NHS hospitals made more than £120m from car park charges in the past year, according to new figures. The Press Association asked 120 NHS trusts across England to give figures on parking charges and fines and 89 provided responses. More than half of those trusts are making more than £1m in car park fees every year, with almost half of them even charging disabled people to park in disabled spaces.

Overall totals are likely to be higher, however, as some of the largest trusts did not provide figures for the 2015-16 year. These include Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which made £3,728,000 in 2014-15 and Royal Surrey, which raked in £1,421,172 during the same year. Many trusts said that some or all of the money was put back into patient care or spent on maintaining car parks or grounds.

Some trusts are handing money to private firms, such as London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which made £968,170 in charges but a further £1,262,194 was kept by Apcoa apcoalogo under a private finance initiative contract.

Apcoa Parking (UK) has been awarded a two-year contract extension to provide security and parking services for Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The Luton and Dunstable Hospital

Apcoa took over the security operations and car park management at the hospital in September 2013 as part of a two-phase service implementation. Around six months later Apcoa assumed responsibility for parking enforcement across the campus. The Trust has now further extended the security and parking management contract.

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