THE most expensive parking charges at A&E departments have been revealed.

With a daily charge of £20, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust A&E car parks are the most expensive in the country after hospitals in London and Kent, a new study has shown.

Car leasing company Hippo Leasing carried out the study of parking charges at 154 A&E departments in England.

Of those studied, most on-site A&E car parks charge a daily rate for any period over six hours.

Both Sussex NHS trusts are in the top ten list of the most expensive A&E departments for parking outside London.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has the second most expensive parking after A&E departments in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust came sixth in the list, with patients parking at A&E at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton facing a daily charge of £18.

The research comes after it was reported by the BBC in December that every major A&E unit in England had failed to hit its four-hour waiting time target for the first time last year.

Eighty-one per cent of patients were seen within four hours in November, which was the lowest amount recorded since targets were introduced in 2004.

Tom Preston, managing director of Hippo Leasing said: “The rising cost of hospital parking has become a big talking point recently, with politicians weighing into the debate during the election.

“The news that A&E departments are also failing to meet their four-hour waiting time targets has only added fuel to the fire.

“With longer waiting times, many are forced to pay for daily parking charges instead of per hour.”

Data obtained by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request last year revealed that hospital trusts brought in more than £254 million in NHS revenue from parking charges between 2018 and 2019, which was a record high.

A recent survey by PA Media found almost 86 per cent of patients and visitors believed parking adds to the stress of a hospital visit.

Only a small number of hospital trusts in the study offered free parking regardless of the length of stay, including those in Shropshire, Wiltshire and the Wirral in Merseyside.