Hospital staff fined for parking in disabled spots at night

I’M ANGRY: Susan Blake has taken a stand on behalf of nurses who have copped parking fines.
I’M ANGRY: Susan Blake has taken a stand on behalf of nurses who have copped parking fines. Brett Wortman

A FORMER nurse has called for a change to parking requirements at Nambour General Hospital after other nurses copped $227 in fines for parking in disabled spots at night.

Susan Blake, who retired last August, said she believed up to five nurses had been fined on January 31 for parking in the disabled area near the blood bank.

"The poor bloody nurses got fined for parking in a disabled area after hours," Ms Blake said.

"There weren't any other car parks available to park in. Why can't the parking inspectors forget about after hours with disabled parking?

"There must be about 15 disabled parks near the blood bank. They are under lights and near the stroke ward. It provides safe access for the nurses."

Ms Blake's big worry is that a nurse will be assaulted while walking to their car late at night.

"Many nurses can't afford to pay $14 a day to park their car (in the hospital paid-parking area) and then that is if you can get in there," she said.

The Sunshine Coast Council said it did not issue any fines and that area was controlled by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services.

SCHHS chief executive Kevin Hegarty said the nurses had incurred the fines for "inappropriately parking in disabled car spaces" which were needed "24/7 and are signed appropriately".

"Like all patients and visitors, disabled persons attend hospital as the need arises - day or night," he said.

Mr Hegarty said safety and convenience for night shift staff was taken seriously and appropriate arrangements were in place.

Discounted rates (from $14 to $7) were available in the multi-storey car park between 3pm and 7.45am.

Mr Hegarty acknowledged that significant growth of services had contributed to a greater demand for car parking spaces.

He said staff who chose to park off campus after hours could be escorted to their vehicles by security officers.

Member for Nicklin Peter Wellington said parking had been a problem for years and it would be the first issue he would address with the new Health Minister.'

Topics:  hospital nurses parking

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