UNIVERSITY Hospitals Dorset (UHD) earned £2.1 million from parking charges in 2023, of which nearly half came from staff. 

NHS England figures have shown University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust earned £2.1 million from parking charges in 2023 which is £400,000 more than the previous year. 

£1.2 million of the figure has come from visitors to the hospital while £945,000 came from staff themselves. 

A spokesperson for UHD said: "There are two main reasons for the increase in revenue. Firstly, we have had more visitors to our sites – the number of cars coming onto our sites has gone up by over 10 per cent. Secondly, we have 500 more staff members with parking permits than the previous year.

"Much of our staff car parking is off site and UHD is charged for these spaces. We pay to maintain our own car parks and manage them as well. We know that parking is often a major concern for patients and visitors, and revenue from our car parking is also used to support more sustainable transport alternatives."

UHD encourages staff to use public transport or to cycle/walk to their workplace where possible while also offering incentives for lift sharing and salary sacrifice for bicycles. 

Nationally, over 446,000 parking spaces were available at NHS facilities, which, of these, 2,484 were at Dorset University Hospital Trusts. 

The spokesperson for UHD said: "Any surplus revenue from car parking goes back into front line patient care and supporting the running of our hospitals.

"There is also free parking or parking concessions for certain groups, including parents staying overnight with a child, or patients receiving regular courses of treatment."

The figures represent the gross income earned by the NHS and does not its own costs for providing car parking. 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We will always support hardworking NHS staff and we have delivered on the commitment to provide free hospital car parking in England for those most in need."

"Since 2022, all trusts have made hospital car parking free for blue badge holders, parents of very sick children, frequent attenders and NHS staff on night shifts, and this the first time that NHS hospital car parking has been free nationally across England for these groups."