FINANCE: Portsmouth Hospitals Trust has announced it is “disappointed” at its private finance initiative partner’s decision to increase car parking charges by 5.5 per cent.

Carillion, which manages the trust’s car parks as part of its £256m PFI deal, last put up car park charges in November. From June they will increase in line with the retail price index as at February 2011 of 5.5 per cent.

In a press release issued by the trust, its company secretary Peter Mellor said: “Whilst the trust recognises Carillion’s contractual right to increase car parking charges in line with the retail price index, we are very disappointed that these increased charges are to be introduced. The trust receives no income from these car parking fees.

He added: “Patient care and the patient experience have always been, and remain, two of our highest priorities and parking at Queen Alexandra Hospital is an important part of that patient experience.

“It is important to note that any patient or visitor who might need to attend the hospital or visit relatives over a long period of time, can still benefit from a reduced parking charge rate. This concessionary rate is at the discretion of the ward or clinic sister.”

In the press release, the trust uses car parking prices from Southampton University Hospital Trust and Western Sussex Hospitals Trust to demonstrate prices will remain comparable.