"Parking Charge"

About: Sunderland Eye Infirmary

(as a parent/guardian),

I received a Parking Charge Notice for £70 after attending the Eye Infirmary with my child. I paid for 1 hours parking and according to the notice my vehicle was on the premises for 1 hour and 21 minutes.

It is clear that there has been no ‘grace’ period given as per the British parking Associations Code of Practise and the NHS patient, visitor and staff car parking principles.

The guidance from the Department of Health states that

‘Reasonable’ implementation of additional charges practice might include additional charges for people who do not have legitimate reasons for parking (eg commuters), or who persistently flout parking regulations (eg blocking entrances). A period of grace should normally be applied before a parking charge notice is issued.


Trusts should consider installing ‘pay on exit’ or similar schemes so that drivers pay only for the time that they have used. Additional charges should only be imposed where reasonable 5and should be waived when overstaying is beyond the driver’s control (eg when treatment takes longer than planned, or when staff are required to work beyond their scheduled shift).

It is unclear why Sunderland City Hospitals are not following the Department of Health guidance and why they contract out the management of their car parks to a company which make financial gain from making law abiding citizens feel like criminals. The practices and techniques used by this company are well documented and are highly questionable.

I have asked the MP for Sunderland Central to raise this issue with the Trust and with the Secretary of State for health.

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