Staff and visitor parking at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, based at Little France, is a problem that we must find a solution to. In April this year, hundreds of staff at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh had their annual parking permits revoked, due to a lack of parking spaces. The lack of parking at the hospital is a safety risk for staff, it would not be unusual for them to work a 12.5 hour shift, sometimes three or four days in a row. After a long shift staff want to just get home quickly and rest up, before they do it all again and there is rightly public outrage that staff are being forced to walk miles to get to their car, or take long public transport journeys home.
NHS staff across Scotland work incredibly hard and they all deserve our sincere gratitude for their tireless work looking after everyone who needs care. However NHS staff are being overworked and not getting the recognition they should do. That is why the Scottish Conservatives are promoting policies to “Look after those who look after us”. In our NHS we have an ongoing workforce crisis, which sees high vacancy rates in nursing, consulting and mental health posts, as well as high absence rates across the health service. Retention of staff has to become the number one priority for our health service and our approach to the health and wellbeing of staff in NHS Scotland has to change.
I am in discussions with NHS Lothian, Edinburgh City Council and SNP Ministers to try and find a solution, so that hospital staff at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary are able to park at their place of work. The Scottish Conservatives have also pledged to refund NHS staff the cost of parking at work, which is currently £7.20 at ERI. This would make a practical improvement to the working lives of NHS staff, as well as being a gesture that shows they are valued by the Scottish Government and taxpayers. The number of staff at ERI will increase next month from about 3000, by 8000 to 11000, when the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People opens. It is important that we find a solution to parking issues at the hospital so that hospital staff can get parked at their place of work. If you agree that it’s time for a national review of hospital parking charges then please add your support using the link below.