Amount Weston General Hospital staff pay to park for work revealed

Weston General Hospital apologises for 22-hour wait for bed.

Weston General Hospital apologises for 22-hour wait for bed. - Credit: Archant

Staff at Weston General Hospital are spending almost £150,000 every year to park metres away from where they save lives, new figures have revealed.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust – which this week said a review of parking arrangements is ongoing – earned little more than £145,000 in the 12 months proceeding March 2018.

Visitors and patients attending hospital appointments must also pay to park at the Uphill site.

They spent a further £322,090, taking the overall total income to £477,100.

One trade union described the charges levelled across the country by NHS trusts as ‘scandalous’ and a ‘tax on hard-pressed workers’.

Across England, hospital trusts made almost £70million in charging staff for parking.

Sarah Carpenter, national officer for health at Unite, said: “It is a scandal NHS trusts in England have pocketed nearly £70million from staff car parking charges.

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“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.

“This pernicious trend is replicated by financially-squeezed trusts across England – our members are being used as an extra income stream for these trusts.

“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.”

WAHT proposed introducing charges for staff back in 2011, saying it was not financially sustainable to continue subsidising for its employees’ parking.

However, a review of parking charges is ongoing.

A WAHT spokesman added: “Staff parking charges apply to all trust staff at the rate of 10p per hour up to a maximum of 80p a day.

“Staff have the options of paying monthly through a salary sacrifice scheme or at the time of parking.

“The money from the charges is used for maintenance of car parks and security and we believe it is the lowest charge at any hospital site in the South West.

“A review of the current parking arrangements is taking place, including travel options supporting sustainability, but has not yet concluded.”