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Parking the old problem of hospital charges

Car Park at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London Photo: ITV News

Once again there is anger over how much hospitals charge for parking. We pay for the facilities through our taxes, yet just when we need them most, they clobber us with charges.

Many patients feel exploited by being asked to pay up. Increasingly, clinics are large out-of-town mega-buildings. You don't choose to take your car - you often have no alternative.

New data out today shows that some hospitals have ignored all the criticism and even doubled their parking fees.

I've investigated this and I think there is a solution. Its hard for hospitals to allow free parking: members of the public abuse the freebie and park all day while they are at work.

Some hospitals I have spoken to achieve a good balance by imposing reasonable charges, but give massive concessions for patients - especially those who badly need transport or who have lots of clinical appointments.

If only ALL hospitals could follow the example of the best - surely that's a job for the NHS big-wigs.