Which? names and shames hospital car parksResearch of 126 hospitals leads to call for change
09 June 2010
Which? has named Royal United Hospital Bath as the best NHS hospital car park in England - and named the four worst
The Bath hospital was praised for its large number of priority spaces, comprehensive variety of payment methods and excellent patient communication.
Which? made 172 Freedom of Information Act requests, which brought 126 responses.
The four worst cap parks for clamping, fining, charging and complaints are:
- Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, which clamped 1,671 cars in 2008-9 and made £1.9m profit from its car park;
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust's Leeds General Infirmary, whose 10,330 fines generated £142,000;
- Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, which has the highest charge for two hours' parking – £4;
- Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Royal Derby Hospital, which received the most complaints – 82
When Which? surveyed 1,001 members of the public, we found that 70% of people have experienced problems with an NHS hospital car park.
Which? also found that for 49% of NHS hospital visitors the hospital car park had made their visit more stressful.
Which? makes 10 demands of hospitals
Which? Chief Executive Peter Vicary-Smith says that 'visiting hospital is stressful enough without having to worry about being clamped or getting a ticket. Surely this is now the end of the road for the worst hospital car parks?'
To that end, Which? is calling on NHS hospitals to meet these demands:
1. Make charges fair
2. Ensure there are enough spaces for patients and visitors
3. Offer concessions to regular visitors
4. Allow patients to pay on departure
5. Allow patients to pay by card and cash
6. Provide priority parking for those who need it
7. Provide clearer information on concessions
8. Reimburse patients for additional parking fees when appointments are delayed
9. Stop clamping and towing
10. Consult patients and visitors about what they want
The other praiseworthy NHS hospital car parks were found to be:
- North Devon District Hospital
- Royal Preston Hospital
- Leicester Royal Infirmary
- Warwick Hospital
- West Suffolk Hospital
- Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Salford Royal Hospital
- Manchester Royal Infirmary
- Selly Oak Hospital (Acute)
For more details of the work Which? is doing and to tell us your stories of NHS hospital car parking, go to our parking website
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