Rise in parking fees at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has increased hospital car parking prices in the last year, an investigation has found.
Across England, more than four in 10 NHS hospitals have increased their parking prices, with some trusts doubling the cost for patients and visitors.
At United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, between April 2017 and March 2018, parking prices rose for patients and visitors.
According to a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association, charges for one to four hours rose from £3.40 to £3.90 and for more than six hours from £4.00 to £4.60.
Labour has pledged to abolish the costs while the Patients Association said people should not be "charged for being ill".
Jeremy Corbyn commented: “It's wrong to charge people to visit loved ones in hospital and the staff who care for them. Labour will scrap hospital car parking charges."
NHS Digital figures show that United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust made £846,000 from staff parking charges and fines at all its sites, over the 12 month period. It also raked in £1.8million from charges to patients and visitors.
Some 124 NHS trusts responded to the Press Association request for data on parking charges.
Of these, 53 (43%) said they had increased prices in the last year for visitors or staff, or both.
Meanwhile, 71 (57%) said they had not put up their prices.
Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said parking charges generate revenue at a time when hospital finances are "under immense pressure".
But she added: "Charges for car parking at hospitals are a charge on people who are unwell, levied on them because they are unwell.
"We believe that patients should not be effectively charged for being ill."
Tom Sandford, director of the Royal College of Nursing in England, said: "Nursing staff work around the clock to keep patients safe - they should not be overcharged for doing their jobs."
A Department of Health spokesman said: "We have made it very clear that patients, their families and our hardworking staff should not be subjected to unfair parking charges.
"NHS trusts are responsible for these charges and ensuring revenue goes back into front line services, and we want to see trusts coming up with options that put staff, patients and their families first."