HOSPITAL parking charges on the Isle of Wight already comply with new guidelines calling for free or cheaper parking for patients and their relatives, according to NHS bosses.
Following the announcement of the new Department of Health guidelines, it was revealed the trust already complied by offering cheaper parking for certain groups, including people with disabilities, long-term inpatients and their visitors at St Mary's Hospital.
The guidelines call for NHS trusts to offer free, reduced charges or caps for people with disabilities, frequent outpatients, visitors of gravely ill relatives, visitors to those staying in hospital for a long time and for staff and volunteers.
They also call for 'pay on exit' schemes so drivers pay for the time used, and said fines should only be imposed where reasonable and be waived when overstaying was beyond the driver's control.
The department also said details of charges, concessions and penalties should be well publicised around the hospital and car parks, on the hospital website and on patient letters and forms.
A hospital spokesman said the trust was considering installing a pay on exit scheme.
"We acknowledge the trust could do more to explain the schemes we currently offer to patients and carers, and we will work to improve how we do this. The trust is also compliant with the guidance in terms of our contractor, who is a member of the Park Mark safer parking scheme."