Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has expressed his disappointment on being told that the Health Minister will do nothing to address why parking permits have been withdrawn from some staff working at Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI).
The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, received a written response from Jeane Freeman MSP, after he had asked her to shed some light on the decision to withdraw some parking permits and also if she could clarify the exact criteria for allocating parking permits at the hospital.
This followed Mr Fraser receiving a letter from Grant Archibald, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside,
regarding the problem.
The matter was initially brought to Mr Fraser’s attention after an employee at PRI contacted him to
raise her concerns that her parking permit, which she had used during her 20 years at the hospital, had been taken away, apparently due to her living near to a bus route.
And the situation was worsened when the employee claimed that other staff – some of whom live
near the PRI – had been allocated staff parking permits.
Mr Fraser decided to write to the Health Minister after feeling the overall response provided by Mr
Archibald was not satisfactory. The situation at PRI tied in with a campaign recently launched by
Miles Briggs MSP, the Shadow Health Secretary, which called for a national review of parking at
hospitals in Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “I find the written response from the Health Minister very
disappointing – she is basically saying she will do nothing to address the shambolic parking permit situation at PRI.
“Ms Freeman just reiterates what NHS Tayside told me – that they have set up a scrutiny group to
assess applications for parking permits against specified agreed criteria.
“In her letter to me, the Health Minister states that there are 744 parking permits issued for the PRI site, and that 10 staff parking permits have not been renewed in the last 18 months. She also states that staff who are not allocated a parking permit can park their car for free at PRI, but it is common knowledge how difficult it is to find a parking space there.”
He continued: “Ms Freeman has said NHS Tayside have a ‘clear and robust’ governance process
regarding allocating parking permits at PRI but it would appear this is not how many staff feel. Many employees have slammed the decision to withdraw parking permits.
“These valuable employees depend on the parking permits to allow them to carry out their work at
the hospital. And NHS Tayside should also bear in mind that getting a bus is not suitable for everyone, particularly if they have children to drop off at school and they live in a village or town that does not have a reliable bus service.
“It is high time both NHS Tayside and the Scottish Government took this problem seriously and
provided adequate answers.”