A TRUST which runs Southend and Basildon Hospital raked in more than £2.7million from visitor car parking fees in the last year, new figures have revealed.

The Mid and South Essex NHS Trust received a total of £2,750,208 from patient and staff parking charges in the 2022/23 year.

The findings mean the trust is ranked as the fifth highest in the country when it comes to the amount of money visitors paid for hospital parking between 2022 and 2023.

Many Echo Facebook users were against hospital parking fees.

Cyrilla Rogers said: “Why should people who are unwell pay. I don’t agree with this.”

Terry Norman wrote: “People who have to attend hospitals do so because either they are ill or one of their loved ones are, so charging them is a disgrace.”

Ade Little added: “It is the last thing you need when visiting a loved one. Charges should be scrapped for all people.”

There are currently no staff parking charges across south Essex hospital sites since the Covid pandemic.

There are also permits to allow free parking to certain patients and visitors, if confirmed and approved by a member of staff in the related ward or department.

This includes chemotherapy patients, renal patients, parents or guardian of children who are staying overnight in hospital, end of life care and bereavement visitors, parent or guardian of children who are seriously ill or awaiting transfer to another hospital, NICU parents or guardians, pregnancy pal / birth buddy, and dementia patient carers.

In response to the figures, Andrew Pike, chief operating officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, said: “With three large main hospital sites and several smaller satellite sites, we have one of the largest NHS trusts in the country, which means a greater number of beds, patients, and hospital car parking spaces.

“Income from our patient parking charges is reinvested into the running and maintenance of our car parks, with any surplus going towards the running of the Trust.

“There are currently no staff parking charges across our hospital sites, this has remained in place since the Covid pandemic.”