HEALTH chiefs in Glasgow have been urged to open up a "near empty" new car park to nursing staff who face disciplinary action for parking elsewhere.
Staff without parking permits are hit with £40 fines by private firm CP Plus if they go over a four-hour parking limit at the Southern General which is undergoing major reconstruction work.
A new car park, the first of four being created for the new £842million hospital, has opened but most of its spaces are for permit holders only and most staff do not qualify.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde say the number of permits will be looked at when all four new car parks are built. But union leaders have called on the health board to issue more permits now, as staff must leave patients to move their cars due to the time restriction.
Staff can face disciplinary action if they refuse to pay parking tickets.
Irenee O'Neill, of the Independent Federation of Nurses, said that, in addition to the permits shortage, "we now have a new car park with more empty spaces that not.
"It demonstrates the fundamental failure of man- agement to manage the situation with any sensitivity, never mind common sense."
And there are problems at hospitals elsewhere in the city.
Nurse Lorraine Bell, 53, of Clydebank, facing NHS disciplinary action over a £40 ticket from the city's Western Infirmary.
Lorraine said: "I'm sure the public would rather I'd give my full attention to making sure patients stay alive in theatre than worrying about where I've parked my car."
Drew Smith Glasgow MSP said: "It is frustrating for staff struggling to find spaces to see GGCHB making rules which apparently serve to keep a new car park empty.
"It is important that staff don't end up with avoidable parking fines."
The health board says building work at the Southern means it has lost some parking spaces.
An NHSGGC spokeswoman said the current arrangement ensured the Southern's car parks were "fairly and effectively managed."