Hospital staff form human barrier to put over parking message

It is our car park!!!
It is our car park!!!

If you've been unable to get parked at Hairmyres Hospital, it could be because commuters have grabbed the spaces.

And this month staff at the East Kilbride hospital, close to the train station, took direct action.

Doctors and nurses formed a human barrier to urge commuters to stop using the hospital as a free ‘park and ride’ facility.

Staff and patients alike want train users to stop abusing the hospital car park as they are struggling to get parked, often resulting in being late for appointments or wasting time that could be spent on patient care.

Dr Helen Mackie, chief of medical services at Hairmyres Hospital, said: “We have tens of hundreds of outpatient appointments at the hospital every month and it can be really difficult for patients to find a car parking space.

“These are patients who might be worried about their condition and the last thing we want to do is to add to their anxiety due to difficulty with finding a place to park and being late for their appointment.

“We would appeal to commuters to think twice before they park in Hairmyres, please leave the car park for patients who need our services.”

Despite monitoring arrangements such as checks at the car park entrances each morning and large warning stickers placed on their cars, commuters continue to use the hospital as a free car park as they cannot get parked at the train station opposite the hospital.

This means there are fewer spaces available for people who have a real need to park at Hairmyres.

Sheila McEwan, physiotherapy lead for Hairmyres Hospital said: “We have staff who go out on home visits to treat patients and they can’t always get a space when they return.

“We also have frail patients and patients with mobility issues who have to park far away from the main entrance.”

Joanne Edwards, director of hospital services, has pleaded directly to commuters. Joanne said: “Please leave our car parking spaces for our patients and their carers.

“I get complaints daily from our patients who are unable to park appropriately and to get to their appointments on time. I would appreciate it if people take some action and make sure we keep our car parks clear for our patients, carers and our staff.”

Relatives and visitors also worry that they cannot get parked at the hospital to allow them to see their family and loved ones.

Susan Friel, chief of nursing services at Hairmyres Hospital, said: “It is really important that we have enough parking spaces for our patients and their loved ones and relatives who come up to visit them.

“Unless you are coming up for an appointment, to see a loved one or you are a member of staff then please do not use our car park.”