Department of Health guidelines on car parking charges

Department of Health guidelines (27 pages, PDF) to NHS bodies on operating commercial car parking schemes as income generating activities. The guidelines put forward the steps NHS bodies should go through when considering whether and, if so how, to develop a car parking scheme. These include considerations on what system to use — staffed, pay and display or barrier — and on whether to manage the scheme in-house or to involve an external partner.

On the question of how much to charge, the guidelines note that car parking offered by an NHS body is "in competition with both other means of transport and alternative car parking facilities" and put forward recommendations that had been set out in the July 2006 Health Committee's report on NHS charges (80 pages, PDF). These include a "strong" recommendation that patients with a long-term illness or serious condition requiring daily or regular treatment, or their relatives/prime visitors, be allowed free or reduced price parking through some kind of season ticket, a recommendation that there be a weekly cap for those patients or visitors who have to attend on a daily basis, and a suggestion that there might be a sliding time scale of charges. The guidelines also reflect the recommendation put forward by the Health Committee that patients be informed of car parking charges before treatment begins.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Department of Health, Healthcare.

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