The income hospitals have made from staff car parking charges has risen, as fewer trusts charge doctors and their colleagues to park at work.
NHS Digital today released its 2021/22 ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) report, detailing income and costs across trusts in England.
Staff parking charges have long been a bone of contention, with many doctors saying it amounts to a de facto tax on going to work as they have no choice but to drive with limited public transport options available and often work long and unpredictable shifts including nights.
Total income from staff car parking in 2021/22 came to £5,620,794, with 50 trusts in England choosing to charge staff.
That figure has risen slightly from £5,272,594 in 2020/21, when 71 trusts in England charged staff to park. In 2019/20, 159 trusts charged staff a total of £90,098,213.
NHS staff in Scotland and Wales do not pay for car parking at work.
During COVID, the Government covered the cost of staff car parking fees at hospitals. This was removed from 1 April, 2022, and trusts have reintroduced fees to varying degrees.
The three hospital trusts which made the most on staff car parking charges in the 2021/22 financial year are: South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (£865,409); Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (£758,412); and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (£666,233).
Those trusts’ income from staff parking are up from £485,509, zero and zero respectively in 2020/21.
In 2020/21, the three trusts making the most from staff parking were: University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (£904,434): North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust (£705,293); and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust (£419,276).
In 2021/22 they each took no income from staff parking. All three have continued to charge patients.
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust’s income from patient and visitor parking fees rocketed to £4,128,328 in 2021/22, from £2,080,898 in 2020/21, making it by far the trust with the largest income from this stream. The next was University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, at £2,488,977.
Patients and visitors paid a total of £96,682,259 in parking fees in 2021/22 across the 131 of 202 non-ambulance trusts in England that charged for parking.
That is up from £47,876,208 in 2020/21, when 129 of a potential 206 trusts charges patients and visitors for parking, but down on the £199,228,466 collected from patients and visitors by in 2019/20, when 159 of 214 trusts charged.