Memorandum submitted by David Magnus (CP
HERTFORDSHIRE NHS TRUST
Table 1 below shows the increase in visitors
car park charges that came into force on 3 October 2005. For three,
four and six to 10 hours the charges were doubled. Table 2 shows
that the new charges are excessive when compared to the corresponding
charges at council-run short-stay car parks in five town centres
in the Trust Area.
In addition I would like to make the following
The Trust's car parks are funded by cash payments
from those members of the public who use them, whereas the remainder
of the Trust's activities is funded mainly by central government
and the general taxpayer, and by National Insurance contributions.
I believe it is therefore logical to expect the The Trust's accountants
should treat the car park as a separate business enterprise operating
within the Trust, with its own capital assets, its own cash income,
and its own relevant outgoings. Any fair and reasonable assessment
of car parking charges should match the case income against those
outgoings that are not already paid for by central government.
Otherwise, if the charges are set too high, then:
(1) the car park operation will become a
profit-making concern, subsidising the other loss-making clinical
and medical departments through the excess cash payments of car
park users; and
(2) because the car park users are also taxpayers,
any excess cash payments they make will in effect be an unfair
I suggest these consequences are unacceptable
and represent a corruption of the fundamental principles of the
I also believe that the new charges were deliberately
pitched at an excessively high level in order to help rescue the
Trust from its overall financial deficit of £8.6 million
in 2004-05. In that case it would appear that visitors to the
Trust's hospitals have been unfairly targeted, just because it
is easy to do so by manipulating the pay machines in the car parks.
This is blatant overcharging for non-medical ancillary services.
INCREASE IN CHARGES
|Old charge, £||2.00
|New charge, £||2.00
COMPARATIVE CHARGES, £
|E & NH Trust||2.00
16 January 2006