Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MPs Attack Hospitals over Parking Fees

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MPs Attack Hospitals over Parking Fees

Article excerpt

Byline: JASON BEATTIE

HOSPITALS were today criticised by MPs for charging patients and visitors exorbitant fees for parking and using bedside phones.

The Commons health select committee said some hospitals were charging more for parking per hour than airports. Relatives also face paying 49p a minute to call patients, the MPs said.

They said the system of charges to NHS patients was a "complete mess" and called on the Government to review the fees for prescriptions, eye tests, bedside phone calls, televisions and parking.

According to the MPs' report, hospitals earn [pounds sterling]78 million a year from parking fees, with many charging the full rate even for cancer sufferers who have to make daily visits. Parking fees range from 30p an hour to the [pounds sterling]4.35 per hour charged by the North Hampshire hospitals NHS Trust. By contrast, the NCP short stay car park at Gatwick costs [pounds sterling]3.70 a hour.

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust charges [pounds sterling]3. …

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