Royal Surrey County Hospital will be introducing car parking charges for blue badge holders from October 1, 2017.
Blue badge holders will be required to pay a discounted flat rate of £4 per visit, which is in line with the fee charged to the Trust’s long-term oncology patients.
The Trust will work with blue badge holders to ensure that those who are in receipt of certain benefits or of low income will be exempt from this new charge.
Director of Human Resources and Business Support, Alf Turner, said: “In an ideal world we would not have to charge anyone for car parking, however the Royal Surrey, like all NHS hospitals, is faced with having to make difficult decisions at a time when budgets are under pressure and demand is increasing.
“Our priority remains to deliver the very best patient care and outcomes and we need to make sure we can continue to invest in this. As such we work to ensure that all NHS funding and income that we are given is invested solely towards this purpose and not diverted to other areas, such as car parking.
“We will not allow anything to get in the way of patient care and I would like to take this opportunity to stress that any patient, carer or visitor, who is entitled to free parking will have their fee reimbursed.
“The Trust’s executive team has thought long and hard before making this decision to introduce a car parking fee for blue badge holders, but running and maintaining our car parking facilities is incredibly expensive.
“The revenue from car parking is used to provide and maintain our car parks and any additional income is put back into patient care.”