ILL PATIENTS are being slugged more than £75 a day to park their cars at hospitals around the country.
It comes as every major A&E unit in England recently failed to hit its four-hour waiting time target.
As topping up the meter is often not an option, many drivers will often pay the daily charge when going to the A&E department for treatment or visiting a sick family member.
Analysis by Hippo Leasing has revealed Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London is the most expensive A&E car park in England, with drivers being charged £77 a day.
Unsurprisingly, six out of the top ten most expensive daily rates are in the capital.
Drivers parking at Whittington Hospital are charged £72, while visitors at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are hit with a £52.80 daily charge.
Outside of London, Sussex Community Hospital is the most expensive A&E car park, with a daily ticket costing £20.
It is followed by Sheffield Children's Hospital (£20), Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and Portsmouth Hospitals Trust (£18.20)
Only seven hospitals were found to offer free parking for patients no matter the length of their stay.
However, 72 out of the 154 hospitals studied do offer free ‘drop off’ parking ranging from under 10 minutes to up to an hour, allowing people to find cheaper parking elsewhere.
A recent survey found nine out of ten hospital visitors thought parking added to the stress of being sick.
Tom Preston, managing director at 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.
"Hippo Leasing’s study into parking at A&E centres specifically, highlights the costs patients and visitors can expect if parking on-site in different parts of the country."