Alliance Party Health spokesperson, Paula Bradshaw MLA, has welcomed news of the establishment of a working group by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to review the car parking arrangements at the Royal Group of Hospitals site.
The South Belfast MLA had been contacted by a carer who had experienced serious problems while trying to collect a patient from hospital, which was further exasperated by a delayed discharge, and so she contacted the BHSCT to see what can be done to address this situation for the 1000s of visitors to the site each day.
She said, "With queues into and out of the car park in the Royal, especially around visiting times, people can wait for over 30 minutes to even enter and secure a space. This is not good enough. Add to this the stress of carers who are trying to get parked, so that they can collect a patient due to be discharged who is eager to return to their home. It has long been clear that parking arrangements are inadequate.
"I am therefore pleased that in response to my representations, the Trust responsible will now review arrangements.
"With the Glider now by-passing the Royal Victoria Hospital, on the Falls Road, this has seen a reduction in the number of parking spaces; to combat the cars moving further into nearby housing neighbourhoods, the Department for Infrastructure is now working up plans for several local, residents-only parking schemes. While I very much welcome the increase in public transport provision, it is not suitable for everyone, especially those leaving hospital; and so I will continue to ensure, as best I can, that the work of the review team is taken forward as swiftly as possible."