400 new parking spaces to be created at Arrowe Park Hospital after Globe campaign
THE GLOBE can reveal rip-off car parking charges at Wirral's acute hospital may be coming to an end.
We launched a people-power campaign after nurses told us NHS bosses were charging them a shocking £10 per day to leave their vehicles in Arrowe Park Hospital's car park.
Our fight was supported by Birkenhead MP Frank Field - and 10,000 people signed our online petition demanding a change of heart.
Now the hospital trust has revealed 400 brand new car park spaces are set to be created.A letter to Mr Field - jointly signed by interim chairman Sir David Henshaw and chief executive Janelle Holmes - says: "I can inform you that the Trust has completed a tendering exercise for the provision of up to 400 additional car parking spaces on the site and has allocated the appropriate monies from its capital budget to this end.
"As you will be aware, the vast majority of surface parking space at the Arrowe Park site is on land owned and leased to the Trust by Wirral Council, and therefore any change in use is subject to planning permission.
"The Trust has submitted its application for planning permission and we are hopeful that this will gain approval at the January planning committee meeting."Should approval be granted then we are confident that the expansion can be constructed and opened before the end of March 2019."
Mr Field said today: "This major success is the latest example of an important change being gained from an alliance of the Globe, local residents, and their MP.
"These new spaces are needed to meet existing demand from staff, patients, and visitors."
And he fired a "hands-off" warning at Wirral health care managers the Clinical Commissioning Group, which wants to close five of the borough's walk-in units and centralise services at the hospital.
"The CCG should not use these new spaces as an excuse to create additional demand by moving more services away from our communities and into Arrowe Park," he said.There was an outcry earlier this year when we revealed nurses were having to fork-out £10 per day just to park at the hospital.
Dozens of them contacted us after security guards had turned them away from on-site patient and visitor parking because they did not have a staff parking fob.The nurses told us they were concerned for their safety about parking away from the hospital grounds during a night shift due to a spate of attacks on women in the area.
The 10,000-name petition protesting about the rip-off was handed to former chief executive David Allison by Mr Field earlier this year.Leigh Marles, Wirral Globe