Skip to main content

Hospitals: Parking

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much he expects his proposals to provide free parking for hospital in-patients to cost in each financial year; from which budgets he expects the money to be taken; and whether he expects the budgets of any other programmes to be reduced consequent on the implementation of those proposals; (292538)

(2) what estimate he has made of the percentage of income from hospital parking charges accounted for by charges paid by (a) outpatients and (b) staff; and whether these groups will have access to free parking at hospital sites under his policy for free parking for hospital in-patients.

Over the next three years, as it can be afforded, car parking charges for in-patients will be phased out. Out-patients will benefit from improved Concession guidance that will be launched next year. Staff car parking is decided locally by national health service organisations and is not changed by the policy of phasing out of car parking charges for inpatients.

The cost per annum for phasing out car parking for in-patients and their visitors has been estimated at £141 million. Funding of these costs will be provided by reducing back office costs without affecting clinically related budgets.

The information requested on the assessment of parking charges is not available in the format requested. Data provided by the NHS in 2007-08 indicated that £27.9 million was received from staff car parking and £83.6 million from inpatients, outpatients and visitors. Parking charges relating specifically to outpatients was not collected separately. This information is as provided by the NHS and has not been amended separately. It was collected on a voluntary basis and therefore is not likely to be complete.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to ensure that all staff at NHS hospitals in England do not have to pay car parking charges; and if he will make a statement. (292936)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently announced plans to phase out car parking charges for in-patients. The Department has no plans to extend this to staff. It is the responsibility of each national health service organisation to set a policy on staff car parking that is appropriate to its local situation.