The thorny subject of parking at Craigavon Area Hospital was the focus of a meeting between health Trust officials and a local MLA.
The meeting between DUP MLA Carla Lockhart and Helen O’Neill, the Head of Estate at Craigavon Area Hospital, covered parking issues for both visitors and staff at the hospital given, what was described as, ‘some negative press in recent weeks’.
Concerns were also raised over any possible plans to introduce charging for parking across the entire hospital site.
At the meeting they discussed the availability of parking at the hospital and how in the past year they have been able to add over 200 additional spaces.
During the meeting recent issues were highlighted including how on one occasion an emergency vehicle was blocked by an illegally parked vehicle.
The Trust are already committed to looking at the possibility of a new parking strategy which will look at issues such as the inclusion of designated staff parking, pricing tariffs and promotion of available spaces.
Speaking after the meeting Ms Lockhart said: “This was a very productive meeting and I want to thank the Trust for giving up their time to meet with me.
“This is an ongoing problem but I am happy to see plans in place to address this for both visitors and very importantly staff.
“Our under pressure health workers need to know that they will be able to find parking spaces when they come in for their shifts and that their vehicles will be safe when they are working.
“I did articulate the need for extensive engagement regarding any potential changes and I raised my concerns and objection around charging for car parking across the entire site.
“This was a useful engagement and one that we will continue to have as this is of benefit to everyone.”