£656,000 spent in a year by QA staff to park at hospital

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital
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NEARLY £700,000 was spent on parking in a year by staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital, it has been revealed.

Medics and workers at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA in Cosham, paid £656,639 to park last year.

It comes as a list has been compiled of total spending by staff and visitors on parking at the nation’s hospitals.

Visitors’ charges are not included for QA as that goes to Carillion under a private finance initiative (PFI).

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the city, said: ‘It’s another disincentive for people to work there.

‘If you’re a consultant being paid £100,000 a year maybe you can afford it, but if you’re a trainee nurse you can’t.’

He said the PFI scheme, run by Carillion and completed under the Labour government in 2009, had led to the hospital having an unsustainable budget.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: ‘They’re having to pay because the government has forced the management to do the rebuild of QA in this way.’

Charges for parking at QA increased in April, 2015 to £1.80 for the first 90 minutes, but have remained the same since the increase.

Staff at University Hospital Southampton paid £1,015,081 last year, out of a total of £3,366,770 spent on parking.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘The shortage of parking spaces at QA has created problems in residential areas.’

News readers said staff should not be charged.

Posting on The News’ Facebook page, Mark Rutley said: ‘To pay to go to your place of work is scandalous, let alone attending if you are sick or visiting.’

NHS hospitals are making more money than ever from car park charges, with more than half charging disabled visitors and making thousands every year in fines.

Hospitals across England made more than £120m from charging patients, staff and visitors for parking in the past year, up five per cent on 2015 before and rising year on year, according to the Press Association.

Some 89 NHS trusts netted £120,662,650 in 2015/16 in car park charges, up from £114,873,867 the year before.

John A’Court, head of estates and facilities for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘The provision of parking for Portsmouth Hospitals Trust’s staff is self-funding and the money received from them covers a number of costs, such as:

1 Car park rental (Fort Southwick park and ride and small car park at Gosport War Memorial Hospital).

2 Park and ride car park maintenance, security and monitoring.

3 Park and ride bus/minibus services including drivers, vehicle rental, fuel and maintenance.

4 Staff taxi service outside of bus hours.

5 Parking permit administration and IT support.

‘The charges that staff pay are according to their salary band and whether they qualify for a space to park on-site or at the park and ride.

‘These costs have been held at the same level since 2013.

‘No income is retained for any other purpose and none goes to the PFI Service Provider.’