Home / health / Actuality Test: Will free hospital parking value £162m?

Actuality Test: Will free hospital parking value £162m?

The declare: Labour may make automobile parking free at NHS hospitals for £162m.

Actuality Test verdict: The £162m is derived utilizing an extrapolation that’s unreliable. The Barnett components can also be doubtless so as to add about one other £30m, and logistical prices may add extra.

Labour has promised to make automobile parking at NHS hospitals in England free, if it wins the election.

Hospital automobile parking charges had been abolished in Scotland and Wales in 2008, though a small variety of hospitals nonetheless cost as they continue to be tied in to contracts with non-public corporations that handle their parking amenities. Charges could also be charged in Northern Eire.

In England, whether or not to cost charges is a choice for particular person trusts, with some making parking free for specific sufferers corresponding to most cancers sufferers or these utilizing dialysis, or for folks staying in a single day with their kids.

Jeremy Corbyn advised BBC Information: “This could value £162m.

“Going to a hospital should not incur a further cost. In actuality it is a cost on illness.”

That determine is predicated on Freedom of Info requests made by the Press Affiliation on the finish of final yr.

Responses from 89 of the 120 NHS trusts in England confirmed that they had made £120,662,650 in parking charges within the monetary yr 2015-16.

Labour has assumed that the remaining trusts would have had the identical common parking charges as those who responded, and extrapolated to succeed in the determine of £162m.

That’s not statistical finest apply, particularly as a result of a number of the larger trusts, such because the Oxford College Hospitals NHS Basis Belief, didn’t provide 2015-16 figures.

The earlier yr, that belief alone made £three,728,000 in parking expenses, so the general determine for England might be significantly increased.

Though charges usually aren’t charged in Scotland and Wales, if extra cash is to be spent on automobile parking at hospitals in England then cash may even must go to the opposite nations below the Barnett components, which Labour says would take the invoice as much as £190m.

There might be extra expenses on prime of that, as hospitals that at the moment contract out their automobile parking must preserve their very own automobile parks and discover a option to patrol them to make sure that hospital automobile parks weren’t being stuffed up by individuals who weren’t utilizing the hospital.

By the requirements of well being spending, £162m is fairly low cost, roughly equal to the quantity it prices to run the NHS in England for 12 hours.

Nonetheless, it’s a massive difficulty for sufferers and guests who must pay to park at hospitals.

NHS Digital releases common parking prices at hospitals, though not the general quantities raised.

A small variety of hospitals cost as a lot as £three an hour for parking.

There was additionally a report from the RAC that criticised hospital parking in England for being “unreasonably annoying”.

It mentioned too many automobile parks made customers resolve prematurely how lengthy they would want to park for, in order that they usually both overpaid or needed to depart appointments to place extra money within the meter.

Labour additionally highlighted some NHS employees having to pay to park on the hospitals the place they labored.

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