Plans for two overspill car parks at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness have been put on hold.
NHS Highland cite financial pressure across the organisation as the reason for the hold.
Planning permission has already been granted for the two areas identified but with no available funding this year the work will have to be revisited in the next financial year.
Katherine Sutton, deputy director of operations for Raigmore Hospital, expressed regret that the work will not be happening in the near future as intended. She said: “We know the car park at Raigmore is not big enough for the amount of traffic that comes onto site each week and we are disappointed that we will not be able to take forward this piece of work this year.
“I have personally heard about the extra stress that is placed upon patients and visitors when they are trying to find a space and I am sorry that we are not able to take this forward but given the current financial climate it is just not possible. We will continue to manage car parking on the site as best as we can.
“Part of this work includes what is already happening in outpatients which involves patients having appointments via video conferencing or using tele-consultation. By doing this it is hoped the number of people having to travel some distance for an outpatient appointment will reduce.
“We would also like to remind people that the car park is only to be used by those who have business at the hospital. We do monitor the site where possible but would ask that if anyone witnesses abuse of the car park they alert our security staff so we can take appropriate action.”