Information

Visitor parking charge at Edinburgh BioQuarter: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Information requested

1. To ask how long the Scottish Ministers have permitted NHS Lothian to charge people to visit their sick relations, friends, and others in hospital RIE Edinburgh Bioquarter.

2. To ask who set the charges and have they ever increased.

3. To ask what percentage of the money goes back into Health care.

4. To ask if the Health Minister is ever notified to the cost of replacement tiles due to water damage in the RIE.

Response

I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for information relating car park charging at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed with modifications.

You made your request for a review on the basis of a "letter from a 'Minister' who had negotiations surrounding parking fee Vs parking free." You subsequently provided the Scottish Government reference number for that letter - 202000094758.

1. Officials have taken this question to be in respect of car parking charges. The RIE at Little France was built under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract between NHS Lothian and a PFI company and opened in 1999. The PFI company funded the construction of the hospital and NHS Lothian pays an on-going charge to the PFI company for the use of the hospital and for certain services. It is the PFI company, and not NHS Lothian, which has a contractual right to charge for the use of the car park and it has done so since 1999. NHS Lothian does not charge people to use the RIE car park - the PFI company charges them to. Scottish Government policy is that hospital car parking should be free of charge. However, the PFI company at the RIE has a legal right to charge people to use the car park.

The letter with reference number 202000094758 refers to the suspension of car parking charges from 30 March 2020 at the RIE. The PFI company which operates the RIE car park has agreed not to exercise its contractual right to charge for the use of the RIE car park in exchange for compensation from NHS Lothian, which has been funded by the Scottish Government. This means that the Scottish Government has been paying the PFI company not to charge people to use the RIE car park since 30 March 2020

2. The charging regime was set in the contract between NHS Lothian and the PFI company when the RIE at Little France was being planned. The Scottish Government does not hold information regarding increases to the charges since 1999. You may wish to contact NHS Lothian who may be able to help you further.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government is not providing the information you have requested because we do not hold this information. You may wish to contact NHS Lothian who may be able to help you. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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