BOSSES at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital have revealed they would have to divert £1 million currently spent on care if they chose to offer free car parking to patients.
Chiefs at the Belvedere Road site disclosed the astonishing figure as part of efforts to justify the installation of a controversial new system last year.
It comes just a day after the hospital revealed it was making major changes to the scheme in a bid to improve the patient experience.
Geoff Neild, head of facilities at the hospital, said: “We estimate that each car park space costs around £1,000 per year to maintain. Included in these costs are business rates, return on public dividend capital, staff costs for parking attendants, CCTV safety and security systems, lighting, signage, and general maintenance and repairs.
“At present we have around 1,000 car parking spaces across the Queen’s site, so that equates to a cost of around £1 million per year to maintain.
“If we provided parking for free then the £1 million cost of managing and maintaining car parking facilities would have to be diverted from other departments and would likely affect core frontline services.
“Our sole objective is to recover these costs, not make a profit.
“We therefore believe that charging patients, visitors and staff is justifiable to avoid diverting funds from other areas.”
Mr Neild also revealed the exact nature of the hospital’s deal with Parking Eye, the firm which operates the system at the site.
He added: “Parking Eye was selected as the service provider because they could deliver a system at no cost to the trust.
“The commercial contract with Parking Eye is based on the hospital getting all revenues from people that pay the correct amount, and Parking Eye only getting revenue from those issued with parking charge notices for not paying or who pay the incorrect amount of money.”