Nurses fear transport woes at super hospital

editorial image

Nurses have handed in a 7,000-strong petition calling for more parking at the new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children campus.

The petition cites “significant parking and travel problems” for the £842 million hospital campus, due to open this summer.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clude has said that staff who need to use their cars for work will be issued with permits, and that further staff spaces will be made available.

However Anne Thompson, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) senior officer, commented: “If nurses and others can’t get to work in time for their shifts because parking and public transport are inadequate, the care the hospital offers will be undermined.

“There will be 1,600 car park spaces but 65,000 staff working. With the permits for staff who work across sites or who need to use a car during the day, there will be 200 spaces for nursing staff.”

The petition has backing from Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh, who told The Extra: “Access has been flagged up as a major worry since the hospital was first mooted. There is still no direct public transport link for vast numbers in the catchment area.

“Now we discover that parking for staff is not just inadequate but bordering on the chaotic.”

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw has echoed concerns, adding: “This is something the health board really has to fix.

“Simply disowning the responsibility for this fact and creating a parking nightmare for residents is not a solution.”

Rosslyn Crocket, nursing director at NHS GGC, responded that “parking policy is Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and nurses working at night and at the weekend will be able to park on site, as is the case at the moment.

“Staff already make their way to work on site and other hospital sites on public transport.”

She added that £40m of Scottish Government funds would be invested in the new Fastlink scheme from Buchanan Bus, Queen Street and Central stations, and that “a planning application has been submitted to increase the car parking capacity by a further temporary 500 spaces”.