Give hospital parking charges the boot

Some cancer patients in England are still paying extortionate hospital car parking charges in order to access treatment. Patients are also facing huge variations in cost depending which hospital they attend. We want to see free car parking offered to all cancer patients attending hospital for life saving treatment.

Thanks to you, we’ve had some success across the UK

Most hospitals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer free parking for cancer patients. 

  • Wales - Hospital parking has been free in Wales since April 2008, except where Health Boards have external contracts in place. By 2011 most hospitals in Wales had stopped charging for car parking. 
  • Northern Ireland - Parking is free for chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients.
  • Scotland - Parking is free except for at three Private Finance Initiative hospitals in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

I was going back and forth to hospital for tests and my husband would have to keep running out and topping up the meter.

Charmaine, diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009

But the situation in England is still a lottery

We surveyed hospital trusts in England to find out about their parking policies - and found huge variations. Cancer patients face a lottery in the price of hospital parking and the availability of discounts. While some hospitals offer free parking to cancer patients, others charge up to £3 an hour for parking.

Despite government guidance stating that hospitals should offer free or reduced parking to cancer patients, many still face the burden of these costs. We are calling on all hospitals to remove car parking charges for cancer patients.

Order a campaign pack and find out how you can challenge costs in your area.

Charmaine's story

Charmaine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009

'I was going back and forth to hospital for tests and my husband would have to keep running out and topping up the meter. When you are going through such a huge ordeal, this is the last thing you want to think about but money ends up being your biggest worry.'

What's the average daily cost of hospital parking in England?

Read our report on car parking charges to find out more. You can download the report [PDF] here, or visit be.Macmillan to order a hard copy.

Government Guidance

The Department of Health has issued guidelines advising hospitals to offer concessions, including free or reduced charges or caps for people with disabilities such as cancer. These expectations will help the public hold the NHS to account for unfair charges or practices. Read our press release.

Despite this guidance, many still face the burden of these costs. Nearly 60% of hospitals in England are still charging at least some cancer patients to use the car park and almost 10% of hospitals in England have ignored this guidance completely and continue to charge cancer patients the full price for parking.

What can I do?

The government has left it up to hospital trusts to decide their own parking charges. If your hospital is still charging cancer patients to park, write to them and send them our report. Our campaign pack has all the resources you need to take action.