4 September 2017
Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, David Stewart, took up the ongoing issue of the challenging parking problems at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, after being consulted by concerned constituents.
Speaking today David Stewart said “ I wrote to the Chief Executive of NHS Highland, Elaine Mead, on this issue, which is one the Board are very well aware of.
“On the 31st December 2008 the Scottish Government made the decision that parking was made free for patients, visitors and staff at hospitals where charges had previously applied.
“ The then Health Secretary confirmed that the move would help to reaffirm the NHS's founding principle of healthcare free at the point of delivery.
“The Board are aware of anecdotal stories of people using the car park at Raigmore as a park and ride, or for holiday parking, but have stated they can only act when people draw these issues to their attention.
“ The Board ask that if anyone knows that this is happening they point it out to NHS Highland at the time, allowing them to not only identify the car, but also so we can take appropriate action.
“NHS Highland are currently taking action against the owner/driver of one vehicle which has been so parked within the Hospital parking area.
David continued, “ Amongst options being looked at by the Board are to establish if alternative arrangements could be put in place for many appointments including telephone or video conferencing consultations.
“There is a Highland-wide programme of work looking into this option which if progressed could save many patients, particularly outpatients, coming into Raigmore Hospital.
“ Finally I would say to the drivers of cars who are misusing the car parking space at Raigmore when they don’t have hospital business, they are blocking a space which a patient or visitor could use.
“I am only too aware of the added stress for those attending the hospital when they can’t find a parking space, which is why I would ask anyone who is doing this to please stop, think and be more considerate.”