IT’S enough to ruin a day before it gets into gear.
Thousands of doctors, nurses and other health specialists unable to park at work despite the long hours they endure and concerns they have on safety.
Now the full extent of the problem has been laid bare in new figures.
And they show that NHS staff across Edinburgh and the Lothians face the worst wait in Scotland to get their hands on a lesser spotted parking permit.
In all, more than 2,000 NHS staff across Scotland are on waiting lists to receive permits allowing them to park at work.
The controversial numbers have revealed 2,247 NHS workers across five different health boards are currently unable to park at hospitals and health centres. This is despite many newer healthcare facilities being built at out-of-town locations where more space is available. The data was retrieved by the Scottish Tories using Freedom of Information legislation. Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said health boards should be making it easier for staff, patients and visitors to park at hospitals, and urged the SNP government to conduct a national review on the issue. The Freedom of Information responses showed five health boards currently have staff waiting for parking permits. More than half of those waiting (1236) were in NHS Lothian, which has received repeated complaints about parking at its main Edinburgh Royal Infirmary site.
At NHS Grampian, 513 workers are waiting and there are 363 in Forth Valley. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was found to have a waiting list of 88, which has since fallen to 77. While at NHS Tayside the figure wass 47.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said ministers should conduct a national review of NHS parking and transport. He said: “MSPs across the country are always being contacted about just how hard it is to get parked at hospitals. If we have thousands of staff awaiting a permit, you can imagine how difficult it is for patients and visitors. Health workers are under enough strain without having to spend ages before their shift looking for a parking space. “Many new hospital sites are built out-of-town where space isn’t an issue – it simply should not have got to this stage.” “Increasingly I hear from medical professionals who tell me on too many occasions they are driving around looking for parking spaces when patients are waiting to see them in clinics.”
George Curley, Director of Operations and Facilities, NHS Lothian said: “We have a duty to make sure that patients coming to our hospitals, who often have mobility issues, are frail or elderly, can park as close to the site as possible.”
A NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “An estimated 7,000 members of NHS Grampian staff call the Foresterhill Health Campus their main base; with around 1400 staff spaces available demand will always outstrip supply. There is little scope to significantly increase staff parking on the campus at present.”
A NHS Forth Valley spokeswoman said over 2,800 permits had been issued to staff.