Leicester NHS trust considers parking charge rises
Some parking charges at Leicester's hospitals could more than double as a trust looks to boost income.
The University Hospitals Trust wants to raise the charge for an hour from £1 to £2.30 and two hours from £2 to £4.
The trust, which had a crisis meeting last month to discuss an £8m overspend, has estimated the changes could generate an extra £500,000.
Critics said the poorest would suffer but officials insisted it just brought them in line with other trusts.
Zuffar Haq, a member of the Leicester Patient Panel, said he was "horrified" by the size of some of the increases.
"Some increases are understandable as resources are tight - but they have to be sensible.
"People are not going to be happy. I know people who are not taking medicine because of increased prescription charges and here we are looking at increasing car parking charges.
"Times are tough out there, so the hospitals need to find a balance."
The trust said most charges were not doubling and a four hour stay would remain at £4. Daily, weekly and monthly discount schemes would also continue.
Director of strategy, Abi Teirney, said: "We realise it is not popular, what we are trying to do here but we do have to do the right thing.
"Our car parking prices have not increased for eight years at the LRI and for four years at the General and the Glenfield.
"So as a result of the overspend we are having to look at as many different areas as possible where we can reduce subsidies - and car parks is one of them."
The proposals will be discussed at a trust board meeting on Thursday, followed by a consultation, with the new charges possibly coming by September.