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£538,458 spent by patients and visitors over the year
PATIENTS and visitors to Basingstoke hospital paid out more than £500,000 in the last financial year to use its car parks.
It is estimated that around two thirds of the £538,458 was spent on maintaining, improving and running the car park – leaving an estimated profit of around £180,000 per year, or £15,000 each month for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Trust chief executive Mary Edwards told The Gazette that any profit that is made goes into running the hospital services.
She said: “When people say they would rather there were no parking charges, I remind them that would mean £15,000 less each month to spend on patient care.
“We can’t pinpoint exactly where the money is spent, but it goes into the pot of money used to run the hospital. The vast majority of hospital car parks charge, and the prices we charge are relatively low.”
A total of 816,607 drivers used the car parks in 2011-12, but not all of them were charged through the pay-on-exit scheme. Those who don’t have to pay include people visiting the hospital for meetings and anyone involved in patient groups.
Mrs Edwards said the cost of running the car parks, estimated to be around £350,000, were consistently high.
Running costs include the payment of car parking attendants, ongoing repairs and improvements to the car parks, the cost of maintaining the equipment and renovations, such as the recent improvements to the car park by main reception.
Currently, it costs £1 for an hour, £2 for up to two hours, £3 for up to four hours, £4 for up to six hours and £5 for a 24-hour stay. Seven-day tickets are available for £10. Disabled parking is free for blue badge holders in marked bays and free parking is also available for patients attending for regular treatments such as chemotherapy. Mrs Edwards said: “We don’t run the car park like a business. We try to be helpful to people using our car park.”