YORK Hospital trust made more than £2 million from car parking charges in 2018 - an increase of more than £40,000 on the year before.

Hospital bosses said that the revenue from car parking helps to fund the running and maintenance of the car park.

However, York Central MP Rachael Maskell branded the charges "a tax on patients, staff and their families" and said that the Labour Party wanted to scrap car park fees at hospitals.

Information obtained from the Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC) for NHS trusts nationwide shows that in 2018, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust earned more than £1.8 million from car parking charges from patients and visitors, and £215,000 from car parking fees from staff members.

The combined figure is £42,000 more than the trust made in 2017 from parking fees for patients, visitors and staff members combined.

Ms Maskell said: "We believe in an NHS, which is free at the point of need, but today, there are so many additional costs that are added to a visit to the hospital.

“This is why we will invest in free parking and better public transport access, free prescriptions and free social care.

“I have represented many constituents who have had their fingers burnt by hospital charges, sometimes when caring for someone in their last hours. Labour will end this charge and we will end this injustice.”

Mick Phythian, the spokesman for the campaign group Defend Our NHS, said: “The fact that any hospital anywhere charges for parking is abhorrent, and a result of accountants and business consultants taking over the NHS, particularly as can be seen when staff members are also charged to go to work.”

A trust spokesman said: “Car parking charges reflect those charged in local council-run car parks. Income from car park charges is also invested in improving car park facilities and alternatives to car use. We have recently introduced a hospital bus in partnership with First buses, that provides a park and ride service from Rawcliffe Bar and is subsidised for staff and we provide subsidised parking for staff.”