Patients, visitors and staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital paid £1.3million in parking charges last year, new figures reveal.
The hospital made a total of £1,394,933 in parking fees over the past 12 months, according to the results of a Freedom of Information request.
A Royal spokesman said: “The money we raise from all car parking is used to support our running costs, including car park and roadway repairs, site security and maintaining our grounds and gardens.
“It’s an addition that helps to protect budgets for patient care and staffing.
“We recognise the challenges of parking and charging and for more than 20 years have continually reviewed and changed our systems to make them work effectively for everyone, and to put the income to good use.”
The spokesman added: “We’ve recently sought views on making the site consistent – and from January 2017 all parking will be paid for, including blue badge spaces.
“We will continue to encourage people to purchase our multi-visit passes, which work out at £1.25 each time they are used and for anyone on some Government benefits the NHS Low Income Scheme can help with all hospital costs including travel and parking.”
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “The shocking reality about car parking charges is that they are taking money from the sick and vulnerable to top up NHS coffers. This is not what car parking charges should be used for.”
Overall, NHS trusts netted £120,662,650 in car park charges, up from £114,873,867 the year before.