A GROUP of nurses have collected thousands of signatures on a petition calling for more parking at a new hospital.
Those making up the 7,000 names on the petition are demanding the health board and city council “resolve significant car parking and travel problems” for the new South Glasgow Hospitals campus which opens in the coming months.
The petition will be presented at a NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) meeting tomorrow.
Anne Thomson, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) senior officer, said: “The new hospital is going to be state of the art and is fantastic news for patient care.
“However, 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.
“We have repeatedly pressed the health board and council for solutions to this, but with eight weeks to go, our members still don’t know how they are going to get to work. And some will have to set off the night before their 8.30am shift if they are to get to work on time via public transport, which is clearly ludicrous.
“So tomorrow we are going to present the health board with our petition of 7,000 signatures - if members of the public would like to show support, please come along.”
The £842 million South Glasgow University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children is expected to be fully operational by the middle of June, health chiefs said last month.
The facility on the site of the Southern General will be home to several specialist services and up to 10,000 NHS staff will be based there when it is fully operational.
Rosslyn Crocket, nursing director at NHSGGC, said: “The RCN need to understand that the parking policy is Monday to Friday between 8.00 am and 5.00pm and nurses working at night and at the weekend will be able to park on site as is the case at the moment.
“The policy is designed to ensure there is a balance for staff, patients and visitors getting parked on the site and those staff who need to use their cars for work will be issued with permits. There will also be a number of staff spaces available for those without a permit.
“Staff already make their way to work on the site and other hospital sites on public transport.”
She said £5.2 million was being invested as part of a plan to improve accessibility and that improved public transport routes, traffic controls and upgrading works to the local roads were being implemented.
“The Scottish Government is also investing £40 million in the new Fastlink scheme which will see, for the first time, direct transport from three main sites in the city centre (Buchanan Bus Station, Queen Street and Central Station) to the Southern campus,” she added.
“We have also been working closely with Glasgow City Council and a planning application has been submitted to increase the car parking capacity by a further temporary 500 spaces.”
Jackson Carlaw, health spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “This is something the health board really has to fix.
“I have met repeatedly with them, Transport Scotland and Scottish Government ministers, to discuss access routes to the new hospital, particularly via the M77.”
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