Pregnant women no longer face hike to the labour ward at Royal Alexandra Hospital

Heavily pregnant women will no longer have to hike their way into the labour ward as health chiefs pledge to reserve some parking spaces for mothers-to-be.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has confirmed that where possible the parking bays immediately outside the maternity unit will be reserved for pregnant women with the exception of the two disabled spaces located there.

The change to the Paisley hospital has been agreed following a campaign by Natalie Don MSP.

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Describing the steep climb to the maternity unit as “completely unacceptable”, Ms Don urged health bosses to reallocate the parking bays for pregnant women who are currently forced to hike from the main car park to the ward before giving birth.

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West said: “I am thankful that the health board took heed of my concerns and will re-allocate spaces to allow pregnant women to access the parking facilities at the maternity unit.

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“It is simply unacceptable that women who are attending antenatal appointments or going into labour, currently have no access to parking facilities at the unit, especially at a time when, due to Covid-19 restrictions, many women are expected to attend appointments on their own.”

Ms Don said the problem was exacerbated by the long-documented lack of parking spaces with the hospital campus.

She added: “Although I appreciate the offer of sincere apologies for the difficulties and distress experienced by my constituents trying to access parking close to the RAH maternity unit, this does still remain a problem for women in Renfrewshire accessing the hospital via public transport or foot.

“I will therefore continue to seek further solutions to this for all women, in the future.

“No woman should be forced to walk up this hill to access maternity services while they are pregnant.”

A spokesman for NHSGGC said: “Delivering person-centred care underpins everything we do at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“We can confirm that a review is underway to ensure that wherever possible, spaces at the maternity unit are reserved for those patients with appointments there.

“While the review is underway, our on-site parking attendants are on site Monday to Friday 6.30am until 4.30pm and can be identified by their high visibility jackets.

“The attendants will be happy to assist any maternity unit patient with parking as close to the unit as is safely possible.”

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