NHS hospitals have made more than £120 million from car parking charges in the last year.
The figure amounts to the highest on record, up from £141 million in the previous year.
The information was released by 89 of 120 NHS trusts from across England, following a freedom of information request by the Press Association. It found that in the year 2015-16, NHS trusts netted £120,662,650 by charging patients, staff and visitors to leave their vehicles in car parks. In the year 2014-5, the total amount was £114,873,867.
More than half of trusts who responded to the FOI request are making more than £1 million in car park fees every year, with some also handing money to private firms.
In London, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust made £968,170 in car park charges, but a further £1,262,194 was kept by the private firm Apcoa under a private finance initiative (PFI) contract.
The trust made £28,449 from car parking fines and the private firm kept a further £25,990 in fines in 2015/16. Over four years, Apcoa has kept £167,357 in fines under the terms of the PFI contract.
Many trusts defended their revenues, saying some or all of the money was put back into patient care or was spent on maintaining car parks or grounds.
Others said their sheer size and the fact that they served busy neighbourhoods meant they took more in revenue.
In November 2015, a bill went to parliament which would abolish car parking fees at hospitals for carers. However, it was blocked by Conservative MP Philip Davies who spoke for over 90 minutes to ensure the bill would run out of time before it could reach a vote; a process known as filibustering.
The top 10 NHS trusts by parking income:
1. Heart of England £4,841,108 (patient/visitor £3,465,357, staff £1,375,751)
2. East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust £3,671,735 (patient/visitor £1,920,283, staff £1,751,452)
3. University Hospital Southampton £3,366,770 (of which £1,015,081 was from staff)
4. University Hospitals of North Midlands £3,347,723 (patients/visitors £2,503,097, staff £844,626)
5. Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust £3,030,678
6. South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust £2,987,458
7. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust £2,801,117 (patients/visitors £2,193,884, staff £607,233)
8. Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust £2,659,000
9. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust £2,557,081
10. Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust £2,349,449 (patients/visitors £1,326,115, staff £1,023,334)
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