Hospital needs clean air

Story by Graham Jones

In February the Northern General Hospital website issued the good news that laser treatments are giving asthma patients a new lease of life. The dedicated staff in all departments of our local hospitals certainly do some amazing work.

However, the bad news is that those of us living in Burngreave are suffering due to pollution, congested roads, noise and parking problems on our streets excerbated by the daily heavy traffic. Proposals to move even more medical facilities to the Northern General, will contribute to an increased flow of traffic through Burngreave.

The hospital’s continued failure to address this problem shows a disappointing disregard for their commitment to the health authority’s statement “Healthy lives, living well and prevention will be at the heart of everything we do.” Their solution is always to build more (revenue friendly) car parks.

The time is well overdue to consider ways of reducing the number of cars using the site. A major step forward would be for the hospital to negotiate with the bus companies to provide a regular bus service from the city centre and local transport hubs (Firth Park, Meadowhall and Hillsborough for example) into the heart of the hospital complex. Other hospitals have mini bus interchanges on their premises but the Northern General seems extremely resistant to this idea. With the forthcoming introduction of electric vehicles on some local routes, this might be an excellent time to open negotiations.

The Burngreave Clean Air campaign is awaiting a reply from the local NHS Commission about what they intend to do to address this problem.