The car park at St Mary’s Hospital.
PATIENTS, visitors and staff at St Mary’s Hospital paid out £478,000 in parking charges last year.
Figures released last month reveal the average hospital trust collects £1.055 million a year in parking charges, more than twice the amount ten years ago, and some pocket nearly £4 million.
The comparative sizes of other trusts is not known.
Income from Isle of Wight NHS Trust car parks — amounting to more than £3.2 million during the past ten years — is split fairly equally between maintaining the car parks and health services.
Parking at St Mary’s Hospital costs between £1.40 for two hours and £6.50 for 24 hours, with concessions for disabled drivers, long-term inpatients and their visitors.
A trust spokesman said: "While we have been able to hold our car parking charges at a relatively low level compared to others who charge for parking, the cost of maintaining the car parks and providing security for the hospital has increased.
"Car parking charges at St Mary’s Hospital were last increased by 5.2 per cent from August 1, 2011, in line with the Retail Price Index."
However, critics have branded charges a tax on the sick and say they should be abolished, as they were three years ago in Scotland and Wales.