The Scottish Government has slammed NHS Lothian over a delay in processing an application for an extra 290 car parking spaces at Edinburgh’s new £150million super hospital.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman is calling on the NHS to explain why the application is still at the pre-planning stage after it was first raised nearly six months ago, for parking at the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children, which has yet to open.

The Scottish Government said the news is “disappointing” that NHS Lothian has not progressed the application faster.

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The proposed move to the new £150 million hospital was shelved at the last minute in July amid safety concerns over the ventilation system within the critical care department.

In a letter to Conservative MSP Miles Briggs, Ms Freeman confirmed that 290 additional parking spaces would be available at the site, which is shared with the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE).

However, after checking with the City of Edinburgh Council it was found no application had been submitted for additional parking spaces.

Staff at the Royal Infirmary have been petitioning for extra car parking spaces.

Mr Briggs said: “Staff, patients and visitors are suffering whilst ministers and NHS Lothian are not getting their act together and sorting out parking at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

“There has been 12 years of total failure by SNP ministers to resolve ongoing parking problems at Little France and there is obviously a huge disconnect between ministers and NHS Lothian.”

George Curley, director of facilities, NHS Lothian, said: “Once the required processes are complete, we would move to secure funding for additional parking.”

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A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “It is disappointing that NHS Lothian has not progressed this application more quickly, and the cabinet secretary will be expecting their plans to address this delay in the coming week.

“The Scottish Government abolished car park fees at all NHS-owned hospitals across Scotland in December 2008 – a move which has saved patients, visitors and staff more than £39million.

“We would like to be able to scrap car park charges at PFI car parks, but contractually we are unable to do so.”