Nurses may face fines for hospital parking – or have to park off-site
Glasgow Royal Infirmary brings back penalties for parking in the patient zone for longer than four hours, which may force nurses to use expensive city centre car parks
Nurses could be fined for going to work after a health board reintroduced ‘shocking’ penalties for staff who park in the wrong zone for longer than four hours at a Glasgow hospital.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board (NHSGGC) has brought in fixed penalty notices for staff who park outside the allocated staff zones at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI), despite the Scottish Government scrapping hospital parking charges across the country two years ago.
Nurses may face high charges for non-hospital parking
From 1 June NHSGGC changed the rules for its multi-story car park at GRI, meaning staff can only park on three floors with a valid permit. Previously, they could park anywhere in the 1,373 spaces available.
The change means nurses and other staff who cannot find a space in the staff zone will have to pay for parking at nearby city centre car parks, which can cost up to £25 a day for more than 9 hours – or risk a fine by parking for longer than four hours in the patient parking zone at the hospital.
Nurses should be able to work ‘without any added pressure trying to park’
‘It is simply shocking that hardworking NHS staff are having to pay through the nose or park miles away from hospitals,’ said Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for health and social care Jackie Baillie.
‘Our valued NHS staff need to have proper provision to be able to get to and from their work and complete their shift without any added pressure trying to park.’
The Scottish Government struck a £35 million deal in August 2021 to buy car parks at GRI, as well as Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, which were previously run by private companies.
The deal saw an end to private firms operating car parks at Scottish hospitals, meaning the government could establish free parking for staff and patients across the country.
Health board aims to ‘strike a balance between the needs of staff, patients and visitors’
But a spokesperson for NHSGGC said the four-hour rule in the patient parking zone was in place before the COVID-19 pandemic and has been reintroduced across its other sites without opposition.
They told Nursing Standard that the new restrictions were introduced to ‘manage the challenges of the busy site’ and only apply within peak hours [7am-4pm Monday to Friday]. They added that staff can use 45% of all spaces on the site.
‘We understand the concerns of some staff at these changes, but we needed to strike a balance between the needs of staff, patients and visitors,’ they added.
‘As GRI is surrounded by arterial roads serving Glasgow city centre, space on the campus is limited to 1,373 available car parking spaces. Unfortunately, there is no opportunity to increase this provision, which means that car parking space allocation has to be properly managed to ensure that the hospital is accessible and to minimise potential hazards for both pedestrians and other vehicles.’
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