Hospital staff paid more than £2m to park at their place of work last year, new figures reveal.
Patients and visitors forked out a further 1.9m to park their cars at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, bringing the total income from parking in 2017-18 to just under £4m.
Figures released by NHS Digital show that health trusts in England made almost £70m from staff parking last year.
Unite, a union which represents around 100,000 health workers, has slammed the figures, which it said amounted to a “tax on hard-pressed” employees.
Sarah Carpenter, national officer for health at Unite, said: “It is a scandal that NHS trusts in England have pocketed nearly £70m from staff car parking charges.”
The national figures also reveal that almost £157m was raised from charges incurred by patients and visitors last year.
This brought the total income earned from car parking to more than £226m.
The figures represent the gross income earned by the NHS and do not take into account its own costs for providing car parking.
The Patients Association has criticised parking charges for patients, describing them as “a charge on people who are unwell, levied on them because they are unwell”.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals said it has more than 5,000 parking spaces and 1.6 million vehicles on site each year.
Simon Neville, director of strategy and planning, said: “It should be stressed that some groups of patients and visitors are entitled to a permit exempting them from charges.
“These include people receiving cancer treatment, people with a family member who is critically ill, as well as parents of children who are staying overnight in hospital.”