Employees of the NHS pay £80 per week for parking near the hospital

The highest rate for patient parking is £3.20 per hour at St Thomas' Hospital, which is located in central London.

On average, the parking fee near the hospital is £2 - this is equivalent to £80 for a 40-hour work week. Data from the NHS Estates Return Information Collection also show that 132 hospitals charge a parking fee for disabled people.

A study conducted by the Press Association showed that NHS hospitals collected a record £175 million for parking during 2016/17 from workers, patients and visitors. This is 6% more than a year earlier.

Steve Gooding, director of the research organization RAC Foundation, said: "The government encourages hospitals to charge parking fees, but it should not be high, especially for hospital staff, people with disabilities, and patients who regularly visit the hospital, for example, chronic diseases or cancer."

Gerry O'Dwyer, Senior Labor Relations Advisor at the Royal College of Nursing, added: "Parking fees are unprofitable for nursing staff who work around the clock to support our NHS afloat. Many work at night, caring for patients and they cannot use public transport to get home. Parking near hospitals requires maintenance costs, but some hospital workers after many years of work should not overpay for performance of their duties. The government does not finance the NHS, which is needed, but hospitals should not earn money on their employees. We need affordable parking at affordable prices."

3 ways to save on parking fees

1. If you regularly go to work by car, then you can purchase a one-month parking package for one parking place through one of the private companies, such as NCP or Q Park. This option is cheaper than paying for parking hourly.

2. Alternatively, it may be cheaper to rent a parking space near the workplace. Websites such as Your Parking Space and Parklet offer rental of garages and places on driveways, providing parking spaces that are closest to the tenant's work.

3. More and more roads are being privatized by city councils, so only local residents can park there and have permission to do so. On some streets you can park, but at a price from £2 to £4 per hour. Parkopedia website allows drivers to find the nearest parking lot, including free parking, to the destination, and also informs about its cost.

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