Car parks pile on stress for majority of hospital visitors

Crowded and expensive NHS hospital car parks make visits more stressful for half of all users, according to a new report.

Problems finding a space, cost and battling confusing payment systems are among the problems facing hospital visitors, consumer watchdog Which? said.

A survey found 67 per cent of people who had used an NHS hospital car park in the last two years thought charges were too expensive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More than half of visitors (52 per cent) had problems finding a space and a third (33 per cent) had to queue or wait to park.

Once they had found a space, 33 per cent faced further difficulty trying to pay the charges.

The poll found that 70 per cent of people had experienced a problem with parking at a hospital and 49 per cent said the difficulties made their visit more stressful.

Previous figures have shown that some hospitals make millions of pounds from car parks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Which? conducted the survey as part of a response to the Department of Health's consultation on NHS car parking.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: "Now we know what people want, the Government must take steps to fix the system and ensure all hospital car parks have sufficient capacity, offer fair prices and have user-friendly ways to pay."

Which? is calling for a "cost-covering" approach for NHS car parks to prevent the hospital either making a profit or having to use its budget to fund parking.