St James’s Hospital nurses concerned over reduction in car parking

More than 300 staff spaces removed due to construction of new children’s hospital

Car parking paces have been reduced for staff at St James’s  Hospital. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Car parking paces have been reduced for staff at St James’s Hospital. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Nurses at St James’s Hospital in Dublin have raised concerns after the removal of more than 300 car parking spaces on Monday morning.

The loss of spaces is related to the starting of work for the new Children’s Hospital.

Clare Treacy, Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) industrial relations officer said that they had expected this work to commence in October but the plan had been brought forward in the last few weeks.

There had been no “proper consultation” or plan to “ ensure safety of nurses and other workers.”

Ms Treacy told Newstalk Breakfast that 320 car spaces had been closed as of Monday morning. On top of closures last year it left “ just about 500 parking spaces for 3,500 staff.”

She said that additional car parking spaces have been allocated at Kilmainham Hospital, but that it is only suitable for non-shift workers because the shuttle bus service stops at 6pm.

“The hospital has always facilitated night duty staff by allowing them to park in the underground car park, but starting work at 7.30 or 8am, the reduced car parks will be filled very quickly.

She said workers who do 12 hour shifts will often arrive and leave in the dark, meaning safety concerns for a female-dominated occupation.

“Nurses, in A&E in particular often have to work beyond the standard finishing time of 8pm, leaving potentially on their own to get to car park at 9pm and 10pm.

“They are much more vulnerable. There is a responsibility on employers to ensure the safety of all staff. There are nurses here who have worked well over 30 years and have always had a car parking spot.

In a statement the hospital said staff parking was reduced because of work relating the new children’s hospital.

“The hospital has been engaging with staff in respect of this matter on an ongoing basis for the past year. Additional parking for staff has been secured by the hospital at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and a shuttle service is in operation to bring staff to and from the site.

“Parking is also available at the James’s Steel car park, where opening hours have been extended and additional security added.

“The hospital continues to engage with staff directly around mobility on and off the hospital campus. A full-time mobility manager has been in place for the last year to assist staff in planning their journeys to and from work”.