NHS England outperforms NHS Scotland……in making huge profits (>£120 million!) from car parking including that from disabled patients. SNP Government abolished charges in all but three, where they could not do so, in 2008


(c) bbc.co.uk

All English hospital trusts charge staff and patients for car parking. Around half of them charge disabled people for parking in disabled spaces. Only three Private Finance Initiative hospital car parks in Scotland at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee charge.

A study reported in the Guardian today said:

‘Overall, the study found that NHS trusts netted £120,662,650 in 2015/16 in car park charges, up from £114,873,867 the year before. About 27 trusts provided data on parking fines, showing they made just over £2.3m in fines over a four-year period. In 2015/16 alone, £635,387 was made from fining patients, visitors and staff on hospital grounds. The investigation also found that almost half of all NHS trusts charge disabled people for parking in some or all of their disabled spaces.


They’re getting better at it. You can see how much each of trusts made here:


As for Scotland, the BBC website reported:

‘Patients and NHS staff have saved some £13m since hospital car parking charges were abolished more than four years ago, the Scottish Government says. Parking has been free for patients, visitors and staff at most Scottish hospitals since 31 December 2008. But charges remain at car parks built under the private finance initiative (PFI) at three hospitals in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.’


I suppose, to be fair, the English trusts probably need the money to fund their efforts to catch up on NHS Scotland’s better performance in treatment and care of patients and to reward junior doctors with a better contract like the Scottish one. See:

NHS Health Check: Which part of the UK is doing the best?

‘NHS across UK has much to learn from Scotland?’ The King’s Fund told us this in 2013!

They haven’t? Where could the money be going? Not in senior staff bonuses surely?



I just googled ‘NHS chief bonuses.’ Those are only the first two of many. Another wee sign that we are different?


14 thoughts on “NHS England outperforms NHS Scotland……in making huge profits (>£120 million!) from car parking including that from disabled patients. SNP Government abolished charges in all but three, where they could not do so, in 2008

  1. Ludo Thierry December 28, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Wow – Genuinely – I assumed it was illegal to charge a valid Blue badge vehicle for parking in a Blue Badge designated parking space. Shows you how much I know. Of course – if the difference in approach on either side of the border were to be brought to the attention of the lieges the London media would portray the different situation in Scotland as an effect of the ‘subsidised Jocks’ enjoying the outrageous ‘perks’ from the Barnett Formula. As you say John – 2 very different nations – hopefully we find our own ‘Two State Solution’ pretty soon now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 December 28, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Yes, they would use the subsidy argument I’m sure so they can be happy to let us go.


  2. Alasdair Macdonald December 28, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    I have mixed feelings on this one.

    Like Ludo, I am surprised that any charges are made for drivers with disabilities.

    However, I think that there is a much wider issue about the volume of private cars on our streets, the space they require when not being used, the effect on the atmosphere and the need to encourage more active travel.

    Recently, I saw the sign for Leverndale Hospital in Glasgow, which had the subtitle – “A health promoting hospital”. After getting over my bafflement at this claim and pondering I saw that what the health board was getting at was much wider than simply treating acute conditions. In the main, our hospitals are huge places employing thousands of people 24/7/365 and generally located in big centres of population. They are reasonably well served by public transport, which could be better and more frequent and could be enhanced by specific ‘works’ buses. Many have reasonable quality housing nearby and if staff were encouraged to live more locally, walking, or cycling to work would be much more feasible and, more importantly, would demonstrate that health service staff actually embody the ‘healthy lifestyles’ concept which they are urging on the rest of us. Car parking at hospitals occupies a huge area, part of which could be used for other purposes, such as social housing and for recreational green space. The volume of cars at hospitals must have an adverse effect on the air quality in the vicinity – not something which promotes health!

    In general, I think free workplace (every workplace) parking has to be ended so that we can deal with the scourge of private car use. Public institutions like hospitals and schools could use the proceeds to augment their budgets. Private companies should donate the profits from workplace parking to charity or to local communities for the common good or to pay for bus transport from local stations or other public transport hubs.

    Although parking charges in England probably go to pay for PFI, I think the principle of charging for parking (exempting blue badge holders, of course) is a sound one.


  3. johnrobertson834 December 28, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    I kind of agree but some folk might need several buses to get there. As for free workplace parking, I remember when UWS proposed to charge staff because of limited spaces, a massive debate started on the email system with many colleagues more angry than they had been about other issues such as fair trade coffee in the canteens or keeping cleaning staff on the university payroll to protect their rights. Meanwhile a colleague was on a UN trip to Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. He joined the email debate to say, ’10 murders this morning. Absolutely no problem parking.’


  4. Alasdair Macdonald December 28, 2017 / 11:42 pm

    Yes, indeed, parking seems to evoke visceral irrationality. Even the most benign of people become foaming at the mouth rabid Rottweilers at the merest hint that their ‘basic human right’ to park anywhere is under threat.

    I remember once asking Andrew Gillian (he of the accusation that Tony Blair had ‘sexed up’ the dossier on WMD in Iraq), when he was ‘Cycling Czar’ for London, about how he was dealing with parking and angry drivers now that the Cycling superhighways were planned for London. He replied, ‘Since I am in Scotland, I will paraphrase Braveheart. The AA said to me “You can take away my life, but you will never take away MY PARKING!!”

    However, the Cycling highways are in and more are planned. More than 10% of all journeys in The Smoke are now by bike. The air quality is still dire, even worse than Hope St, which the BBC Scotland would describe as the worst anywhere in the entire visible universe.


      • Alasdair Macdonald December 29, 2017 / 10:13 am

        The Council made a complete arse of the process. The lane was put in on a stretch which did not really need a lane indeed, it probably constituted a genuine hazard. It was ‘isolated’ from any other infrastructure and public consultation was almost non-existent. As well as ripping it up, the Council also had to refund the ‘matched funding’ they had been awarded to fund the project.

        Unlike the NIMBY thuggishness in Bearsden regarding the Bear’s Way, where the Council actually did a very good consultative process and had produced a really good design, in Ayr, I think the motorists’ complaints were valid.


  5. Alasdair Macdonald December 29, 2017 / 9:07 am

    In its capacity as the PR service of the Conservative Party, Reporting Scotland is giving some prominence to a Tory statement based on an FoI request about the reduction in 600 hospital beds in Scotland and that Shona Robison ‘needs to get a grip’. This is followed by a snippet report of a reactive statement by Ms Robison.

    No context to the number is given. No examination of the figure is undertaken

    Interestingly, I cannot find any report on this report anywhere on the BBC website.


  6. Clydebuilt December 29, 2017 / 10:40 am

    Junior docs do training stints at different hospitals. They have to move about. Then as they progress they have to attend clinics out with the hospital. Junior docs need cars to get about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald. December 29, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Clydebuilt, I do not think we are going to disinvent or replace the car any time soon and there are, at present, what might be called ‘essential’users, and, possibly, junior doctors might come into that category. There are some, whom I know, who cycle between hospitals and clinics. If a doctor or other medic has to operate in several places, but on different days, then a car might not be necessary. Most of the junior doctors are in the four large cities, where there are large hospitals, and, given the relative compactness of the cities getting from one site to another is not a huge journey.

      Another issue is that travel expenses for cars in the NHS are relatively good and are a disincentive to use other modes. By relatively reducing these to favour walking, cycling or public transport, might also help.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clydebuilt December 29, 2017 / 7:55 pm

        A lot of junior docs live outside major cities, basing them selves central to hospitals they can be sent to.

        Like you say we aren’t getting rid of cars any time soon. . . . IMO we will replace IC powered vehicles with electric, life will go on . . . Just in a less polluting way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clydebuilt December 29, 2017 / 7:57 pm

        Entered wrong email address . . .


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