Hospital to increase cost of parking

Hospital to increase cost of parking

A hospital in Kent is set to raise parking charges for long-stay visitors, despite guidelines against "unfair charges".

People who want to park for longer than five hours at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham will have to fork out £8 to do so from October 26 onwards, up 60% on the current rate of £5.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust says the hike will allow it to increase the number of parking spaces available, adding it will only affect the 11% of visitors who use the car park for between five and 24 hours.

The charges for periods less than five hours will remain the same.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously expressed concerns about the parking charges at certain hospitals.

Last year he introduced new guidelines which stated the relatives of chronically ill patients must be given free or cheap hospital parking, while concessions should also be offered to people with disabilities.

But new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that more than 100 hospitals across the country increased their parking charges in 2014-15.

Hospital parking policies are set by individual NHS trusts, not the Government.

Copyright Press Association 2015