Ealing Hospital NHS Trust, in line with other NHS trusts in London, charge parking fees to members of the public who use the hospital car park.
Our car parking charges are similar or less than other hospitals in the area and the money raised is used to pay for security to manage the car park and the balance is reinvested into caring for our patients.
If we didn’t charge any fees we would still have to pay for the security – and probably increase it – to stop massive abuse of the car park. The costs would have to be diverted from patient services.
Whilst it is true that we charge a minimum £3.50 for four hours, we took this decision because it is more practical and manageable. It is based on the four hour maximum wait for patients in accident and emergency, and the fact that the majority of our outpatients are on the hospital site for an average of two to three hours.
We had to consider the situation if we had set an hourly minimum charge as many patients would need to come out to the car park to ‘top up’. We would also have had to spend more time and money policing the car park.
We do provide five spaces for free parking of up to 30 minutes and also offer free parking for cancer patients receiving regular chemotherapy treatment, and others such as parents of children being cared for in the hospital, bereaved relatives and relatives of patients being treated in intensive care.
We are also working closely with Transport for London, our neighbouring NHS Mental Health Trust and the London Borough of Ealing to look at other parking solutions at the hospital and to provide alternative transport suggestions. This hospital is now served by nine bus routes. Despite this, the 256 spaces in the car park are constantly in use.
Editor’s Note: The Trust does not issue parking fines. The policy is to clamp cars of owners whose tickets have expired. The Trust endeavours to be flexible and give owners a period of grace.