THE trust which runs the city’s hospital has been criticised by staff over problem parking on a site, claims that hospital bosses deny.

Last week Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) reinstated parking barriers at Royal Hampshire County Hospital causing frustration with some employees.

Along with barriers, staff are also expected to have a permit to park on the site, something that was temporarily suspended at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

HHFT say the measures have been brought in to ensure patients have a place to park and to reserve enough space for staff.

But one senior consultant said: "Critical care staff have the same access to parking as administration staff - even when they're called in for emergencies.

"It can take 20 minutes or more sometimes to find a space. It just doesn't make sense for staff to be using Park & Ride when so many are exposed to Covid-19 patients and we're all being told to minimise risk.

"Getting parking tickets on the hospital site is an all-too common for those called in at short-notice who want to put patients first.

“Before a high intensity shift caring for very sick people the last thing you want to be doing is driving round and round looking for a parking space.”

However, the trust has said that it has no tickets have been handed out.

It also told the Chronicle that priority parking is in place for front line staff and those working antisocial hours on the Winchester site, along with the usual 500 parking spaces for staff, an additional 200 spaces are currently being utilised.

A trust spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to support staff to get to work, but know that parking at our hospital in Winchester can be difficult - particularly due to the physical limitations of the site. Unlike many other city hospitals, we are able to provide parking on-site but understand that this isn’t always enough to accommodate every member of staff.

“In addition to the spaces on hospital grounds, Winchester City Council have also provided dedicated parking in the Tower Street car park for staff, again at no cost, and we are very grateful for their support at this time.”