Parking chaos for patients at Kirkcaldy’s biggest health centre

Mr Douglas at the health centre's car park. Pic: George McLuskie
Mr Douglas at the health centre's car park. Pic: George McLuskie

Cars double parked, vehicles blocked in and people with disabilities having to walk long distances because disabled spaces are filled.

These are just some of the problems experienced regularly by patients visiting Kirkcaldy Health Centre at Whyteman’s Brae in Kirkcaldy.

And one pensioner, a long-time patient there, says he is fed up being fobbed off with excuses by NHS Fife.

George Douglas (73), who lives on Dunnikier Estate, said he has been asking for action to be taken for years, but nothing is being done to solve it in the long term.

“I was up last Thursday morning and it was pandemonium,” he said. “There were lots of cars double parked, blocking people in and there were some angry drivers.

‘‘People were parked along a one-way street, and I saw one elderly lady, leaning on her husband’s arm, having to walk right across from the far end to get to the surgery because all the disabled bays were filled – many by people who were not disabled. It was chaotic.

“I have raised this issue many times before and they put on a man at the gate to the centre between 8.00 and 9.00 each morning. As soon as he leaves it’s a free for all.

‘‘If you get an appointment first thing or after 4.00 p.m. you are fine, but in between it’s terrible.

“It’s obvious that not all the cars belong to patients.

‘‘Hospital staff are using the car park because it’s closer. I contacted the parking person who said emails had asked staff not to park there, but it’s obviously not making much difference.”

Jim Leiper, NHS Fife director of estates, said: “A parking attendant is employed until shortly after 9 a.m. each weekday to ensure that only patients and authorised staff access the car park. 

‘‘This prevents the car park being ‘log-jammed’ at the start of the day and improves the turnover and availability of spaces for patients.

‘‘Periodic monitoring is also undertaken, particularly of spaces for Blue Badge holders. We have also significantly enhanced the parking complement at the Victoria Hospital in recent months, adding an additional 198 spaces.’’

A busy building ... every day

The health centre is home to four GP practices, with 12 doctors serving tens of thousands of patients from around the town.

The centre’s car park has 125 car parking spaces with seven blue badge bays.

A spokesman said: “NHS Fife takes all complaints seriously and I would encourage anyone with concerns to contact our Patient Relations department.”