Following safety concerns raised by members at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) nursing and midwifery staff, accessible car parking for staff is a topic that’s been hot on the agenda for some time.
Although it’s an issue that might now be a thing of the past, as ANMF (SA Branch) successfully negotiates additional car parking spaces for exclusive use by nurses and midwives at FMC.
CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM says staff safety has continued to be a priority for ANMF (SA Branch) since mid-last year when reports surfaced about women being stalked in FMC car park.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe walking to and from their car for work—and even more so when you’re having to do this in the middle of the night because you’re a shift-worker,” Ms Dabars says.
“Onsite security of course has a big role to play but securing access to car parks closer to the hospital entrance will also go a long way towards keeping our members safer,” she says.
This month’s car parking feat follows ANMF (SA Branch)’s success in securing an additional 100 car parks for nursing and midwifery staff earlier this year.
One nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the news has lifted a huge weight off her shoulders.
“I feel safer already knowing I can leave for work at the usual time and still find a car park close to the hospital and under good lighting, rather than leaving an hour or so earlier with no guarantee of finding any parking space.”
Her colleagues too are “rejoicing” at the news.
“Many nurses were having to park illegally and cop the fines because they didn’t have time to drive around for an hour waiting for a park to free up.”
“And it wasn’t unusual to have to give up your tea breaks to move your car, because you’d only managed to find a two-hour spot,” she says.
But her greatest sense of relief came with the knowledge that night-shift workers would no longer have to park their car nearly a kilometre away in a poorly lit private car park.
“I’m extremely relieved for my colleages who I never felt comfortable with them parking so far away from hospital.”
“We all have a duty of care to one another and for each other’s personal safety.”
The additional car parks have been allocated in the Northern Car Park, which is a well-lit two-minute walk to the Medical Centre’s main entrance.