Hospital car parking fines revealed

Wheel clamping, fines and overly high costs in hospital car parks are some of the things NHS patients and their families have to put up with, a new report has revealed.

A profit of £1.85 million was made by the car park of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in Surrey after it clamped a total of 1,671 cars, the study said.

A total of £142,000 was generated by the 10,330 fines issued by Leeds General Infirmary, which is part of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, consumer group Which? collected information from 126 NHS trusts and hospitals in England after writing to 172 organisations.

Hospital car parking is free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, each hospital decides how much it wants to charge patients for parking - raking in more than £100 million a year.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The car is often the best, and sometimes only, way for people to travel to hospital, and managers need to understand the reality of the way people get about.

"Patients don't go to hospitals out of choice, but because they have to.

"Anything that unduly adds to the stress of such occasions needs to be seriously reviewed."

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