Call for health boss to face public over ‘illegal’ parking

Kirkcaldy Health Centre managers have called on NHS Fife chief executive to come and face disgruntled patients.
Kirkcaldy Health Centre managers have called on NHS Fife chief executive to come and face disgruntled patients.

Managers at Kirkcaldy Health Centre have called on the boss of NHS Fife to face patients and explain the reason behind, what they claim, is his ‘illegal’ car parking policy.

The call comes after Paul Hawkins, NHS Fife chief executive’s indication that he has no intention of reversing the policy that allows staff at the adjacent Victoria Hospital to use the health centre car park ahead of patients.

“We would welcome the chief executive to spend a day on site and witness the chaos his decision has made and the impact on patient parking,” said a spokesman for the health centre.

“He can also answer any patient concerns regarding parking and his decision.

“NHS Fife needs to recognise this is hugely disadvantaging our patients. He clearly shows no regard to the difficulties patients are having.”

Furthermore, the centre’s four practice managers have told the Press that Mr Hawkins’ refusal to reconsider the current policy has left them and many of the 20,000 registered patients “dismayed and deeply disappointed”.

And, they claim, his stance is in direct contradiction to the work being done by his colleagues to find a solution to the problem.

“The director of estates acknowledges that the patients are the main focus, and that the root cause of the problem is the hospital staff ‘illegally parking’,” said the spokesman.

“Interestingly, within the written NHS Fife Car Parking Policy, reviewed in June, it states ‘all vehicles must be parked within designated bays and in accordance with relevant signage’. It also states that where parking areas are marked for use by specific groups, for example patients, these spaces are only to be used by these users.

“Signage at the health centre, funded and erected by NHS Fife, clearly states that parking is permitted for patients and centre staff only.

“This is clearly contradictory to the chief executive’s statement.It would appear that he is contravening the terms of his own policy by stating that his staff can park at the Health Centre.”

Furthermore, practice managers say that NHS Fife staff are breaching the terms of policy, and the Fife health authority are ignoring this fact by relinquishing any responsibility to manage parking.

An NHS Fife spokesman said it remained committed to finding a solution to the parking problems.

“NHS Fife reviewed the parking situation at the centre in June, in response to an approach from one of the practices. At the time, we contacted them outlining several possible options aimed at improving parking provision.

“A recent meeting to discuss potential options in more detail was unfortunately cancelled by the health centre.”