Disabled patients and visitors are no longer exempt from car parking charges at cash-strapped Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield.

The hospital trust, which is attempting to claw back a £10million overspend, will charge all motorists a £4 flat-rate daily charge whether they stay for five minutes or 24 hours.

The new rules will also apply to able-bodied drivers taking disabled patients to the hospital.

Despite Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust making savings of £14million in the last financial year, it still overspent, and the Department of Health has called for further savings of £31million.

Averil Dongworth, the trust's chief executive, said: "The trust recognises it has a duty to provide designated car parking spaces to disabled drivers, which are convenient, close and accessible to the main hospital buildings. However, we no longer feel we can waive the charge, given our current financial difficulties.

"All hospitals charge for car parking, and this provides vital income. All income from car parking is put back into hospital budgets and, given the trust's current financial situation, we need to maximise our income to avoid having to make reductions which may impact on patient services."

In March, it was revealed that the trust made £1million from parking charges last year.