BOLTON NHS Foundation Trust has made almost £3 million in car parking charges over the past two years, new figures show.
The figures combine all the parking income made from staff, patients and visitors. They also include any fines issued to people who did not pay to park.
In the financial year 2017/18, the total income was £1,465,321, slightly down on the £1,514,940 generated in 2016/17.
Of the money made in 2017/18, £516,968 was paid by staff, while £977,190 came from patients and visitors. An additional £16,678 was also made through fines.
Nationally 43 per cent of NHS hospitals have increased parking charges in the past year.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have doubled the price of a stay of between four and six hours over the last year, from £3 to £6, while in Liverpool, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has tripled the cost of a stay longer than eight hours.
However, the price of parking at Royal Bolton Hospital has stayed the same, at £3 for 24 hours.
Andy Ennis, Chief Operating Officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust added that free parking is also offered to certain people. He said: “We haven’t increased car parking charges at the Royal Bolton Hospital for a considerable amount of time.
“While we do charge for parking at Royal Bolton Hospital, we do also make exceptions. We offer free parking for cancer patients visiting the Churchill Unit and free parking for disabled blue badge holders.
“We also provide a reduced price passes for frequent visitors to the hospital.
“All revenue from parking charges is utilised for the benefit of the Trust, including providing maintenance and staffing of car parks.”
In September, hospital parking charges were completely abolished in Wales and most of Scotland has followed suit.
Unison’s head of health Sara Gorton called on the Government to put more money into the health service so parking charges can be removed in England as well. She said: “If the Government put more money into the health service, charges could be scrapped, and nurses, porters and their NHS colleagues would no longer have to pay through the nose simply to park at work.”
Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association added: “We believe that patients should not be effectively charged for being ill.”
A Department of Health spokesman said: “NHS trusts are responsible for these charges and ensuring revenue goes back into frontline services, and we want to see trusts coming up with options that put staff, patients and their families first.”