MP's message for hospital boss: 'What are you doing about parking for our nurses?'
CAMPAIGNING MP Frank Field is keeping up the pressure on hospital chiefs to improve parking for staff and patients.
There was an outcry earlier this year when it emerged nurses were having to fork-out £10 per day just to park at the hospital.
Nurses 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 also 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 in the area.
The Globe took up their fight and nearly 10,000 readers signed our online petition, which was handed over to hospital senior management by Mr Field.
Health chiefs promised a review and floated proposals for a multi-storey car park to be introduced at Arrowe Park Hospital.
Meanwhile more parking spaces were made available for staff.
But that was in May - and since then no further progress appears to have been made.
Now Mr Field has fired off a letter to new hospital trust chief executive Janelle Holmes, who was appointed in June this year.
Mr Field said: "I am writing to follow up my previous correspondence with two of your predecessors – David Jago and David Allison – regarding car parking arrangements for staff, patients and visitors at Arrowe Park Hospital.
"A little over a year ago, on the back of a major public campaign, the hospital agreed to open additional parking spaces and issue additional permits.
"This was a welcome first move."In the most recent letter I received on this matter, after I sought an update six months ago, the hospital emphasised that this was indeed only a first move in what would become a wider programme of improvements to parking facilities.
"Can I please ask you to outline how much progress, if any, has been made this year to implement that programme?"Likewise, what plans, if any, does the hospital have to resolve this issue fully in the year ahead please?"
And the MP stressed: "These questions are given particular urgency by Clinically Commissioning Group’s proposals, which are currently out for consultation, to remove certain functions from local care providers and run additional services on site at the Hospital.
"If these proposals do go ahead, which I very much hope they do not, parking facilities at the Hospital would surely come under even greater strain.
"Given the chronic shortage of public transport in many parts of the borough, and without a dramatic improvement in the availability and affordability of parking facilities, can you please set out how on earth people could be expected to get to the hospital in good time for their shift, to access treatment, or to visit a patient?"
A Wirral University Teaching Hospital spokesman said: "We thank Mr Field for contacting us.
"Our response to his letter should be with him in the next few days."Leigh Marles, Wirral Globe