Nursing student’s message to car vandals highlights hospital parking problems

RCN says this type of vandalism is ‘abhorrent and unacceptable’

RCN says this type of vandalism is ‘abhorrent and unacceptable’

Nursing students and NHS staff have experienced vandalism to their cars,
including tyres being let down. (Picture posed by model). Picture: iStock

A nursing student who returned from a hospital shift to find her car tyres had been let down has left a handwritten note on her windscreen begging vandals not to damage her vehicle.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) student, who is on placement at the Royal Preston Hospital (RPH), wrote that she worked ‘37.5 hours a week for free’ and could not afford to pay for a hospital parking permit. 

She had parked her car legally in a residential street without parking restrictions.

Not an isolated incident

Other nursing students and NHS staff at the hospital have also experienced similar incidents, according to the Lancashire Post newspaper. 

The cost and availability of parking at hospitals is an ongoing frustration to many staff and patients.

RCN North West regional director 
Estephanie Dunn

RCN North West regional director Estephanie Dunn told Nursing Standard: ‘This type of vandalism towards NHS staff and students is completely abhorrent and unacceptable.

‘While we appreciate that parking is a challenge for all hospital trusts, they do have a duty of care to staff who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to rely on public transport for their commute and often have to arrive for or leave work after dark.’

Ms Dunn said RCN members, including students, who were experiencing hardship should contact the RCN Foundation or their local college representative.

Variety of permits

A spokesperson for the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the RPH, said a variety of parking permits were available, including ones for off-site spaces at a local business centre and college.

They added that the trust is attempting to secure more off-site parking for staff near to its hospitals, and is exploring opportunities to fund the building of a multi-storey car park at the RPH.

Exploring all options

UCLAN adult nursing principal lecturer Ivan McGlen said: ‘Every year, thousands of our nursing students add to the NHS through a wide range of placements at a variety of medical institutions.

‘They adhere to the same rules as staff, so we encourage them to explore all the travel options for getting to work, including purchasing car parking permits and using public transport. 

‘We wholeheartedly do not condone the recent car damage and would encourage our student to report the crime to the police.’

Lancashire Constabulary has been contacted for comment.

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