Hospital parking makes £2.1m from patients and staff
The amount of money collected by the car parks at Musgrove Hospital in Taunton was revealed yesterday. The information was given in response to a question from Ian Liddell-Grainger MP for Bridgwater & West Somerset (pictured).
Will Quince is the Minister of Health charged with responding to this sort of question. The information is collated centyrally each year by the NHS Estates Return Information Collection. The latest figures available were for the fiscal year 2021/22.
These showed that £2,094,729 was generated by the hospital’s car park across the year. Of that income from patients and visitors was £1,336,317 and income from staff was £758,412.
Perhaps feeling the need to mitigate the shock of the information he had imparted, the Minister added a sweetener. He told Mr Liddell Grainger that: “The Government has committed that all trusts that charge for car parking now provide free parking to in-need groups, which include NHS staff working overnight, frequent outpatient attenders and parents of children staying overnight in hospital.”
However the revenues from the car parks at Musgrove are not collected by the hospital. The car parks are run and managed by a company called Q park. Q Park is a private company, a business which is in turn owned by KKR, one of the worlds biggest private equity investment firms.
Could The Leveller ask Musgrove how much of the income will go to Q Park.
Also, when does the PFI contract end and will the car park revert to the hospital fully at that time?
There is a cynical set of parking charges where a typical 2 hour’s of parking costs more than 2x 1 hour.
Of course, the principal business of the NHS is not car parking (or catering or cleaning for that matter, though these are also essential to the health provision). However, by outsourcing to the commercial sector the main purpose of car parking provision changes from being an ancillary service to one of generating revenue.