A solution to the ongoing car parking problems at a Kirkcaldy doctors’ practice needs to be sorted out once and for all.
That’s the view of fed-up patients and staff at Kirkcaldy Health Centre’s three surgeries at Whyteman’s Brae, who say that finding a parking space for an appointment, or just to get in to work on time, can be a nightmare scenario.
Frail and elderly people having to walk long distances to the surgery because they can’t get space in the car park; people parking along pavements and on double yellow lines to “nip in” with prescriptions; people parking in doctors’ spaces and in disabled spaces... the list of complaints is lengthy.
And nearby residents are also affected by people parking across their driveways and causing obstructions on their streets.
But NHS Fife says there is no easy solution to the problem, with a car park attendant currently on site at peak times.
And it claims that because only half of the current car park is for health centre patients, with the other half open to all NHS staff, it is extremely difficult to police.
Chic Cotrell (64), a lifelong patient of one of the doctor’s surgeries on the site said he has had four appointments at the GPs in the last two weeks and on every occasion has struggled to get parked.
“I have had to come along ridiculously early to be sure of making my appointment on time and on many occasions in the past have seen people blatantly parking in disabled spaces with no disabled badge.
“I’ve confronted several and the usual response is that they are only going to be a minute, but that’s not the point – they are preventing someone who really needs the space from parking there.
“I’ve seen near misses as people sit double parked.
“ I had to help a young woman with a buggy who was having to push it up the middle of the road because people were parked on the pavement.
“I’ve seen quite obviously ill patients who are struggling to walk having to park long distances away.
“It’s not good enough.
“The car park should be just for health centre patients.
“The rest of the NHS staff should be told to park elsewhere – maybe there could be a shuttle bus service taking them from the overflow car park down to the hospital?”
Carol Ness, another patient of the surgery, said: “I can never get parked here.
“Every time I come I have to park half way along Hayfield Road,
“My daughter had an emergency appointment after badly hurting her back and we couldn’t get parked anywhere near the surgery.
“It is ridiculous how few spaces there are for people.”
A spokesman for the health centre said it serves over 17,000 patients and more spaces are needed for those visiting the surgery.
“Every day we get complaints from patients who can’t get parked.
“Last week someone was parked on the double yellow lines and an ambulance couldn’t get past.
“We’ve had clinics disrupted because patients are late, a doctor got a parking ticket because he had to park on a verge to get in on time for his surgery and the disabled parking is constantly abused.
“The chief executive decided that all NHS staff could use our car park and that has made it a free for all with our clients suffering.
“Patients are still signing our petition which has over 4000 signatures on it, but nothing is being done.”
Andrew Fairgrieve, director of estates with NHS Fife, said: “Security staff regularly patrol our car parks to ensure responsible parking by patients, visitors and staff.
“If anyone has concerns around illegally parked vehicles they should contact NHS Fife security on (01592) 643355 Ext. 28888.”