NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen hospital's new parking rules favour patients

ARI Image copyright Lizzie
Image caption NHS Grampian had admitted parking had reached "crisis point"

New parking measures at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary will result in patients being given easier access to the building.

NHS Grampian said the changes had been required after parking at Foresterhill had reached "crisis point".

From now on outpatients will be able to park closer to the hospital's front doors, but staff will have to park further away.

Charges were abolished at all NHS hospitals in 2009 by the Scottish government.

The revamped system sees staff permit holders being given access to the site's main car park one, while patients and visitors will have access to a separate section in main car park two.

Gary Mortimer, general manager for facilities and estates with NHS Grampian, said patients would notice a number of differences.

He explained: "Firstly, they're going to be met at our gates by a person on the barrier, who will help them to an appropriate parking space.

"They'll find parking easier, if they bring their outpatient appointment letter to confirm that they have an appointment at the hospital and hopefully their entire journey from arriving at site to leaving site will be a much less stressful one than it's been."

Hospital managers have held talks with trade unions and staff about the changes and said there would be some dedicated staff parking spaces near to the main building.

Visitors will also face changes in where they can park.

Mr Mortimer said: "We do have an area that's going to be earmarked for visitor parking, there's about 200 spaces that will be freed up later in the day.

"They will be available on a first come, first served basis, so we would encourage visitors not to bring their cars, to use the extensive public transport that's now available on the site."

The hospital said it had been working hard to alleviate the disruption caused by the changes by improving transport links and had developed an internal shuttle services to take people from the further away car parks to the main site.

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