A major review of staff parking at a north-east hospital is to be held, just days after plans for a new, multi-million pound facility for patients and visitors were unveiled.
On Tuesday, offshore industry doyen Sir Ian Wood and his wife Lady Helen pledged £10million to NHS Grampian to fund a new car park at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Now, health bosses have sent letters to about 7,000 staff based at the Foresterhill Health Campus to notify them of an employee parking permit review, which will take place later this year.
Currently, there are about 2,500 spaces on the site, while 5,000 permits have been issued.
Staff are graded for eligibility on a wide range of factors, including how close they live to the site, the availability of public transport and shift patterns.
The health board says the review was pre-planned and is unrelated to the new car park proposals, however union bosses have called for extra provision for staff in the wake of the Wood Foundation’s announcement.
Martin McKay, health spokesman at Unison in Aberdeen, said parking was a “contentious issue” and one of three most commonly raised by members, alongside staff shortages and pay and pensions.
Mr McKay added: “The majority of the space has been for visitors and patients and it has left hospital staff in a position where they have had to make stark changes to the way they get to work.
“There have been improvements for people using the service, so we want to see improvements for those delivering the service.”
Last night, NHS Grampian said there werte to change the current system at this stage.
A spokeswoman said: “Staff side organisations are involved in the review and we will be communicating each step of the process directly to staff on the site.
“This review was already due to take place during 2015 and is not a direct result of the Wood Foundation’s extremely generous donation for a patient and visitor multi storey car park.
“However, this new facility will clearly give improved scope for how we manage the wider site parking needs for staff, etc.”