SALISBURY NHS Foundation Trust made more than £1.5million in car parking charges last year, according to latest figures.

The data, revealed following a Freedom of Information, show that in 2016/17 the Trust welcomed an income of £1,554,352 from staff and visitors to the hospital paying for parking – up more than 11 per cent from £1,398,642 the previous year.

Within the figures it is highlighted that the amount that patients and visitors contributed to the overall total was almost double that of staff, with staff members paying £587,005 compared to £949,317 paid by members of the public.

The staff figures were only introduced in 2010 after the Trust’s board decided to introduce charges to employees, stating that the income would contribute to ongoing maintenance and development costs of staff car parks and saving initiatives.

In the last three financial years, staff have paid out almost £1.4million to park during their shifts at the hospital and surrounding centres.

To park at Salisbury District Hospital costs £2.50 for two hours, £4.20 for up to four hours and £6.30 for 24 hours.

However, the Trust’s figures were just a fraction of that earned by University Hospital Southampton, where staff and visitors paid £3,730,000 in the last financial year.

The Salisbury Trust has raked in more than double its nearest neighbour - the Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - which only made £550,258 in 2016/17.

The figures also highlight that the Trust added to its parking income in 2016/17 with almost £13,000 in penalty fines.

This is up by a third compared to the £9,904 it earned from fines in 2015/16.