FIGURES have shown hospital staff spent more than £650,000 on parking in a year.
Employees for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust paid £655,077 between April 2017 and March this year.
The data came from NHS Digital as part of the Estates Returns Information Collection report.
The money paid by staff went towards the running of the park and ride from Fort Southwick to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, as well as the maintenance of staff car parks.
Visitors’ parking was not included in the report as that money goes to a different organisation, formerly Carillion before it went into administration, under a private finance initiative (PFI).
John A’Court, director of estates, facilities, PFI and capital development at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘Income from staff parking is retained by the trust and used on the overall operation of our staff car parks.
‘This includes the car park rental and bus services contract for the staff park and ride at Fort Southwick.
‘Administrative and monitoring costs are also included and no surplus is generated or used for any other purpose.’
The report also showed the trust spent £333,257 on its fleet of vehicles which are driven by a transport team for conveying logistics items, drugs, post, notes, supplies, samples and other ad-hoc needs.
Nationally, NHS trusts made almost £70m from staff parking charges over the same period.
Unite, a union which represents around 100,000 health workers, has slammed the ‘scandalous’ figures, which it said amounted to a ‘tax on hard-pressed’ employees.
Sarah Carpenter, national officer for health at Unite, said: ‘It is a scandal that NHS trusts in England have pocketed nearly £70m from staff car parking charges.
‘Such a large figure will take a large chunk out of the gains in the current NHS pay package which saw most staff get a pay rise of 6.5 per cent over the next three years.
‘We would like a situation where dedicated NHS staff, who don't earn a fortune, don't have to pay to park their cars to go to work to look after the sick, the vulnerable and the injured 365 days a year.’