Wellington nurse says parked contractors intimidate staff

A nurse at Wellington Regional Hospital said parked contractors intimidated staff on the hospital grounds and wrote down registration numbers as they tried to find a park before their shift.

“It gets to the point where they wrote down the nurses’ rego numbers and if you get caught in a park you could be fined $ 65,” said one experienced nurse, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The nurse said complaints were falling on deaf ears and stress was driving those already exhausted by staff shortages, the Covid-19 pandemic and lengthy salary negotiations to quit.

And although the district health board says it is working on ways to fix the problem, staff remain cynical, especially as the cost of staff parking is expected to nearly double for some.

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She reported an incident a week ago where a person who was not in uniform threatened to tow their vehicle as they entered the parking lot.

“He said ‘if I catch you, I’ll tow your vehicle.’

“With the current shortages of nurses, you would think they would like to solve this problem… We are losing staff on a daily basis and this is a factor that contributes enormously,” she said.

Staff <a class=parking fees at Wellington Hospital will drop from $ 4.50 to $ 7.50 as the hospital encourages staff to use “greener” ways to get to work.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Robert Kitchin / Tips

Staff parking fees at Wellington Hospital will drop from $ 4.50 to $ 7.50 as the hospital encourages staff to use “greener” ways to get to work.

Care Park, which manages the hospital parking lot, declined to comment, saying questions should be directed to the Capital & Coast District Health Board.

The board of health said it was aware of “some friction” between parked contractors, but dismissed the bullying allegations.

“We ask, however, that DHB staff and Care Park staff continue to be courteous to each other,” said Board of Health Chief Financial Officer Mathew Parr.

Staff are not permitted to park in patient areas, even if they pay the full rate, as this may result in patients being absent from their appointments.

“Part of Care Park’s role as a parking provider is to ensure that staff do not park in areas reserved for patients and visitors – especially the parking lot under the hospital building,” said said Parr.

“This implies that Care Park staff describe the potential consequences of repeated violations which may include an infraction notice or – in extreme cases – towed vehicles, particularly if the presence of the vehicle has an impact on the access of the vehicles. patients. “

The nurse said contractors doing things like piping took priority over staff.

“We can confirm that there is a small space – four parking spaces – currently blocked for contractors doing copper pipe replacement work, but these contractors recently secured an alternative outdoor parking lot,” Parr said.

Some of the nurse’s claims have been backed by the New Zealand Nurses Organization (NZNO), but the union would not go so far as to label the behavior as intimidating.

Wellington Nurses Organization organizer Jo Coffey.


Wellington Nurses Organization organizer Jo Coffey.

“They are definitely watching the parking lot and following the nurses and saying you can’t park here which in itself makes people uncomfortable,” said NZNO Wellington organizer Jo Coffey.

“There is no parking lot, let’s face it,” Coffey said, adding that some staff would arrive an hour before they start work to find a spot, she said.

The base level of the new children’s hospital was intended to be a parking lot, but it was scrapped after complications with the site.

The parking hike that takes effect Jan. 1 is the first in seven years. “But try saying that to a poorly paid health assistant who just got a raise, and now his parking lot has doubled,” Coffey said.

The base level of the new children's hospital was intended to be a parking lot, but the plan was scrapped.


The base level of the new children’s hospital was intended to be a parking lot, but the plan was scrapped.

Without a parking permit, staff cannot park on the hospital grounds at all, and it is understood that some will wait up to five years to receive one.

Parr said the wait time for a parking permit can be up to 18 months, but that’s why it’s changing the way parking is managed.

The board of health is exploring options for multi-story parking, with one of the options at the corner of Riddiford and Mein Street, near the emergency department.

Staff have been briefed on this, Parr said.

“The first phase of the feasibility study is expected to be completed in early 2022, with further investigation continuing throughout this year. Our staff will be updated as developments progress.

A staff shuttle between Kenepuru Community Hospital and Wellington Regional Hospital is also something that has been and continues to be considered, Parr said.