Hospital workers 'stressing out' over lack of parking ahead of shifts

Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which provides specialist palliative care beds in Norwich. Photo: Archant

Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which provides specialist palliative care beds in Norwich. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

NHS staff have said the lack of parking spaces at a hospital site in the heart of the city is keeping them up at night with stress. 

A permit system is in place for a limited number of staff working at the Colman Hospital in Unthank Road, where the Priscilla Bacon Lodge is located.

Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich.

Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich. - Credit: EDP pics © 2010 (01603) 77243

But there are not enough to go around and one senior staff nurse at the hospital, who did not wish to be named, said the lack of spaces meant staff were "stressing out "over where to park their cars ahead of a hectic shift. 

The 51-year-old said: "Many of us are living out in the sticks with no bus route. We are not given a permit so where are we supposed to park for work? 

"Many people have had issues parking in the street nearby with damage to their cars. I can't understand the reasoning for not giving us a permit with no other means of getting to work.

"It is stressing out a lot of staff who are working 12 hour shifts starting at 7am. There are something like 75 spaces but there are 150 to 160 staff." 

The trust has said it undertook a consultation with staff, health and safety experts, and Staff Side Union last year in response to increasing concerns about unsafe parking at Colman Hospital.

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Mark Page, assistant director of estates and facilities at the trust said: “There has always been very limited parking at the Colman Hospital site and the trust has been unable to extend the number of spaces due to the location and the preservation status of the site.

Mark Page, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust assistant director of estates and facilities.

Mark Page, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust assistant director of estates and facilities. Photo: NCHC - Credit: NCHC

"We have worked with colleagues to find a parking solution that balances the need for allocated staff parking with ensuring safe parking for patients visiting the site, which includes end of life patients, those undergoing neurorehabilitation and those accessing amputee services, and their families and carers.

"We are continuing to work with staff to find alternative additional parking options in the local area and to promote bus and park and ride facilities close to the hospital."

The Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust has committed not to re-introducing charges to staff for parking permits until April 2023.

This comes after the government recently announced the end of the free parking on offer to NHS workers during the pandemic.