We have a newly constructed community hospital in Aviemore, which now brings the GP surgery under same roof as well. Millions were spent to create this new, modern facility, and yet there seems to have been a shortage of consideration given to some of the simple, low cost points that would help to make the facility equally accessible and convenient for all users, particularly pedestrians and those who have to use public transport. The former GP health centre was much closer in to the centre of Aviemore, sufficiently close to be able to attend a nurse or doctor appointment and still have time to walk down the road to pick up a prescription at the chemists before the next (rather infrequent) bus back to one or other of the surrounding villages within the catchment area of the surgery, and even to be able to have time to pop down to the supermarket in the centre and pick up a few items as well. The new hospital must be at least twice the distance from the centre of Aviemore, making it difficult for even a fit walker to have time to reach the chemist, and too far for anyone with more limited mobility. Also whereas the route from the old health centre was essentially just down the main road, from the new hospital it is the choice between a very long way round on the bus route, or a shorter winding route through a complicated housing estate. The hospital has a large convenient car park out front but there is NO signposting whatsoever to direct the pedestrian how to get back into the centre. There is a bus stop outside the hospital, but NO bus shelter. Furthermore, all the buses in and out from the centre to the hospital tend to arrive within a quarter of an hour period and then there is a three quarter of an hour desert before the next one, so if your appointment falls badly against the timetable, you can be marooned for a considerable period of time. So much money spent on a brand new facility, with so little consideration for those who have to rely on public transport, or might wish to walk between the hospital and the chemists.
We have a new hospital in Broadford, Skye, yet the accessible parking has no dropped kerbs between vehicles & no accessible parking spaces for the large wheelchair accessible vehicles known to be used locally (up to 6 m long and requiring 4 m at the rear for entry/egress via a ramp or wheelchair lift. There is a Changing Places Toilet which is used by everyone, including staff - it has a peninsular toilet which is not suited to independent wheelchair users but is designed for use by profoundly disabled people with up to two carers helping. The other accessible toilets have sliding doors which don't open enough for a wheelchair to enter. I still haven't found a toilet I can access and use and there are no inpatient facilities I can use. 😡
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