July 25 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 12, 2014
The plight of patients daring to drive to the Royal Free Hospital was (at last) given the national attention it deserves this week.
The Sun newspaper outed the hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, as a “national disgrace” on Monday after the tabloid found it had the highest hospital parking charges in the entire country.
Figures given to its deputy political editor by Tory MP Rob Halfon showed it towering above other hospitals.
An hour’s stay costs £3, four hours sets you back £12, and, if you’re unfortunate to have to stay there for the entire day, it’s £72.
That’s more than the £49 it would cost you to rent a room at the Premier Inn across the road for a night and benefit from its guest-only £14-a-day parking charge.
But all this is not news to Heathman. The hospital’s parking policy has long angered its visitors and is one of the issues most regularly complained about.
No doubt hospital bosses will again justify the charges: or perhaps their place in The Sun may help them see the light.
A statement from the Royal Free said: “The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has not changed its car parking rates since early 2003 and currently has no plans to increase them.
We charge a flat rate of £3 per hour for standard parking bays.
However, we offer a number of concessionary parking rates for some of our patient groups.”