Finding somewhere to park at Nelson Hospital is about to become a whole lot easier with construction of a new carpark due to start in the next few months.
The carpark will be built on an unused greenspace on Franklyn St and will be for staff. The current staff carpark – closer to the hospital – will then be reallocated for public parking.
This will provide an extra 29 general public carparks.
The number of mobility parks is also set to rise from 16 to 20, with reconfiguration of the parking at the main entrance set to happen this year, too.
Nelson Weekly reported on the frustration of hospital goers last August, with many expressing how difficult it was to find a carpark.
Nelson Marlborough Health’s (NMH) general manager of financial performance and facilities, Eric Sinclair, says that while there are few options within current hospital site to reconfigure parking, this work was prioritised in response to what NMH hears from patients and visitors.
“We know from what patients and visitors tell us, and from what our own staff tell us, that parking difficulties are stressful and – at the worst – can cause people to be late for their appointments.
“We are investing in this because it’s important, and we will also continue to offer free public parking, unlike some DHBs.”
Eric says that the eventual redevelopment of Nelson Hospital will provide the opportunity to reconfigure parking again.
Improvement facilitator at NMH, Amy Clarke, says it’s an exciting development.
“From my point of view, it’s about the patient experience. It can be stressful enough just coming to the hospital, so more carparking will help to alleviate that.”
Tenders for the new carpark closed last Friday and although a work schedule and completion target are yet to be confirmed, the carpark will be up and running before summer.
In the meantime, patients and visitors are encouraged to allow enough driving time to find a park before appointment times and to consider using public transport to get to the hospital.
The shuttle buggy is also available to pick people up from the shuttle shelter near the carpark entrance off Tipahi St, from the bus-stop on Waimea Rd, or from their car and deliver them to the main hospital entrance.