'Let's stop this rip off' - Globe's petition to stop Arrowe Park Hospital bosses charging nurses £10 to park reaches more than 9,000 supporters

Wirral Globe - 05 Oct 2017
MORE than 9,100 people have backed the Globe’s petition to stop Arrowe Park Hospital bosses from charging nurses and staff members £10 to park their cars.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field will personally hand deliver the petition to hospital boss David Allison in a meeting later this month.

Nurses who work at the hospital got in touch with the Globe in September after security guards had turned them away from on-site staff parking because they did not have a fob.

They also expressed safety concerns over parking in an off-site location during a night shift due to a spate of attacks in the area.

Nurses told the Globe that they have had to park in patient and visitor areas due to the lack of spaces and a waiting list for parking permits.

Mr Field told the Globe: "Thousands of Wirral residents have swung right behind our campaign to protect nurses from this rip-off parking operation.

"Justice demands that Arrowe Park now acts on their wishes, by phasing out the charges – first for staff, and then where possible for hard-up patients and visitors."

Wirral NHS Trust say that they cannot provide all 5,500 staff members with a parking space.

They also operate a parking permit scheme which depends on individual circumstances.

A Trust spokesman said: “Arrowe Park Hospital is one of a few acute hospital trusts in the country to offer a large number of dedicated free car parking spaces for its patients and visitors.

“As part of our strict covenant from Wirral Council, rules state that we must keep our free 300 space patient and visitor car park for the sole use of patients and visitors.

“We make it clear to staff that parking in this free car park should be avoid where possible, but should staff decide to park in this facility it may incur a cost upon exiting if their vehicle remains in the car park for more than four hours.

“Regrettably we are restricted in the available parking spaces we are able to offer patients and staff on our Arrowe Park site and work constantly to improve these frustrations where possible.

“This year alone we have increased our temporary car parking provision for staff following the demolition of old nursing accommodation.

“This included an additional 100 staff spaces last month alone.

“As Wirral’s biggest employer however, not all 5,500 staff are able to have a parking space and as such we operate a staff parking permit scheme.

“Parking permits are assessed and allocated to staff on an individual basis depending on their circumstances such as distance they live to the Trust and shift patterns.

“It is inevitable that our staff car parks will be at their most busiest during peak daytime hours.

"As such our permit scheme offers a number of other options such as off peak parking for evening and weekends to help accommodate shift patterns.

“We advise staff where possible to car share, or use public transport and to be aware that there are certain times of the day when the car parks will be less busy.

“We restrict staff from parking in our patient car parks solely for the reason that these spaces are for patients and visitors only.”

Supporters have been leaving their comments on the petition here https://www.change.org/p/wirral-arrowe-park-hospital-bosses-must-stop-charging-nurses-10-to-park

Marion Smith said: “Our nurses are the backbone of all hospitals.

“There will come a time when good will and vocation will expire.

“Who can blame them when they are treated with such disrespect by management who are happy to pay themselves excessive salaries and perks at the expense of front line staff.”

Allen Lanceley said: “Nurses do a grand job. My mum passed away in Arrowe Park and was looked after with the greatest of compassion.

“Their pay has been capped for years and they deserve better. Free parking is a small price to pay for their service.”

Colin Green said: “It's not the hospitals fault the land is owned by Wirral borough council. Nobody should be charged to visit their sick friends and family.”

John Smedley said: “Frontline essential workers deserve more support than this sham policy where's the welfare consideration.

“Words fail me, these guys shouldn't have to worry about driving into work to find somewhere to park, from experience that causes stress before you get into an already stressful work environment.

“NHS Free parking for your staff is essential.”