Portsmouth hospital parking fee hike criticised

Image caption,
Parking charges at Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital are set to rise by an average of 3.37%

A planned hike in parking charges at a Hampshire hospital has been criticised by health officials.

Fees for parking at Queen Alexandra (QA) Hospital in Portsmouth are to rise on average by 3.37% (10p) from 3 April.

Contractor Carillion which manages the trust's car parks decided to raise the prices in line with the Retail Price Index.

The move has been criticised by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the privately financed hospital.

The fees will apply to the multi-storey and north car parks and to spaces near the hospital's east entrance.

They range from £1.70 instead of £1.60 for an hour to £16.60 instead of £16.50 for more than 12 hours.

'Very disappointed'

Vehicles displaying a disabled sticker will be charged £1.70 per day.

Glen Hewlett, director of development at the hospitals trust, said: "Whilst the trust recognises Carillion's contractual right to increase car parking charges in line with the Retail Price Index, we are very disappointed that these increased charges are to be introduced.

"Patient care and the patient experience have always been, and remain, two of our highest priorities and parking at Queen Alexandra Hospital is an important part of that patient experience"

Patients and visitors to the hospital who need to visit for long periods are still eligible for reduced parking rates at the discretion of the ward or clinic sister.

A Carillion spokeswoman said: "Under Carillion's agreement with the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, car parking charges are reviewed on an annual basis.

"The parking facilities provided... are of a high standard and recently Carillion was again successful in receiving the Parkmark award which recognises the quality and safety standards of the car parking provision at QA."

The £256m QA Hospital was rebuilt using private finance and formally opened in June 2009.

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