Protest planned over Fife health centre parking problems

The protest takes place on Tuesday
The protest takes place on Tuesday

A demonstration has been organised in the wake of the car parking problems which have plagued a Kirkcaldy health centre.

Practice managers at Whytemans Brae, which caters for around 20,000 patients, have received complaints for months about staff from nearby Victoria Hospital being allowed to use their car park, often leaving patients with nowhere to park.

Staff have now organised a demonstration, which will take place in the car park on Tuesday at 8am, just as many arrive for work.

One of the practice managers, Cindy Low, spoke about the frustration over the issue.

She said: “It would seem our car park is being used to remedy parking problems encountered by NHS Fife staff with blatant disregard to the disadvantage to our patients, which is simply unacceptable.”

“Practice managers have received tremendous support from patients with the campaign to restore the use of the car park to health centre patients.”

The practice managers say they have have become incensed by what they claim is NHS Fife’s lack of understanding and desire to find a solution.

“The care of the patients is paramounts, but when we met with NHS Fife in September to discuss the problem, it only wanted to talk in terms of staff parking allowance,” said Christine Watt, another of the managers. “Parking used to be monitored, and, while busy, it worked relatively well,

“But since the revised parking provisions introduced earlier this year, the situation has become unbearable.

“It is impacting on our doctors who are struggling to deal with patients turning up late for appointments through no fault of their own,” added Ms Low.

In a letter to a complainant obtained by the Press, Paul Hawkins, NHS Fife chief executive, wrote: “I need to make it clear that NHS Fife’s policy is to allow any of our staff to park for free at any of our sites.

‘‘At the current time, NHS Fife has no intention of changing this.”

He added that there was no legal entitlement for dedicated car parking spaces.