The case for managing hospital parking

If parking at hospitals was free, demand would increase and the costs for management, maintenance and repairs would have to come directly from healthcare budgets. Hospital car parks that are not managed and properly maintained can become a free for all and ultimately do not protect the most vulnerable in society.

We recognise that demand for parking at hospitals often outstrips supply and that parking facilities and transport links need to be managed for the benefit of everyone, whether patient, visitor, or employee. Charges must of course be reasonable and reflect availability and demand.

A concessionary system should be given to the following people if public transport may be impractical for them or if parking charges could become a burden over time:

  • Disabled people
  • Patients with a long-term illness or serious condition needing regular or long-term treatment (for example, people having dialysis, radiotherapy or chemotherapy)
  • Visitors (such as carers) who need to visit patients regularly
  • Staff working shifts that mean public transport cannot be used
  • Other concessions, e.g. for volunteers or staff who car-share, should be considered locally

Where such a system is in operation NHS Trusts and operators should work together to ensure they give maximum publicity to such concessions and that they are taken up by eligible patients.