A PETITION has been launched today for Globe readers to back the fight against Arrowe Park Hospital bosses charging nurses and staff members £10 to park their cars.

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

They have also expressed safety concerns over parking in an off-site location especially during a night shift.

To sign our petition visit https://www.change.org/p/wirral-arrowe-park-hospital-bosses-must-stop-charging-nurses-10-to-park

The 300 space patient and visitor car park is free for three and a half hours but after that it has a £10 charge, the hospital says that staff cannot park there and only in staff car parks - of which they need a parking permit.

A nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous told the Globe: “In the past two mornings security are not allowing staff to park in the £3.20 car park but making NHS staff park in the car park that is if you are the for more than four hours you have to pay £10.

“A nurses wage isn't the best as it is without having to pay £100 odd pound a month to park.

“When asked security they said get a fob or it's not our problem.

“They say they only have weekend night fobs available.

“This doesn't benefit me or the many nurses working at Arrowe Park.

“So I would have to pay the month fee for the night weekend fob plus £10 a day for a day shift which would work out more expensive.

“After being at the trust for two and 1/2 years and I still remain on a waiting list for a fob for the staff car park.

“It’s bad and to pay £10 a day for coming to work and helping people I feel it's victimisation.”

Birkenhead MP Frank Field has called for the trust to scrap all car parking charges for staff and patients.

He told the Globe: “This means they have to work, in effect, for free during the first part of each shift while they claw back the cost of parking their car.

“I have long campaigned against car parking charges being levied on vulnerable patients and their relatives, but this latest development is doubly concerning.

“The alternative for nurses who cannot afford to pay £10 at the beginning of each shift, is to park half a mile down the road in an offsite location.

“For those who finish their shift in the middle of the night, this could trigger all sorts of danger.

“As one nurse who has written to me pleading for action from Arrowe Park, commented, ‘the whole thing just seems wrong, wrong, wrong.’

“All our campaigning energies should go into making the NHS the envy of the world – which it certainly isn’t at the moment – starting with the abolition of car parking charges for staff and patients.”

Wirral NHS Trust say that they are not able to provide all their staff members with a parking space and that they operate a parking permit scheme depending on individual circumstances.

A Trust spokesman said: “Hospital parking, whether for patients or for staff is a challenge for most NHS trusts across the country, and regrettably we are no different.

“We are restricted in the available parking spaces we are able to offer patients and staff, 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.

“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.”

A spokesman from Arrowe Park Hospital contacted us to add this further comment: "The free 300 space car park is for visitors and patients only.

"This means staff are not allowed to park there as we offer this free facility for our patients and visitors for up to three and a half hours.

"After three and a half hours there is a £10 charge which visitors or patients can claim back if their appointments overrun however if anyone other than a patient or visitor parks there the charge applies.

"The car park that has a £3.20 charge is also a patient and visitor car park and staff are not allowed to park there."

Here's what some of our readers have to say about charging nurses to park:

Louise Bailey said: "It is ridiculous to expect nurses and staff to pay these high parking costs.

"They already work under increasing pressure and help to care for those at their most vulnerable without any decent pay rises."

Rachael Ross said: "Shocking price to expect nursing, auxiliary, midwifery and hospital workers to pay. 

"Many struggle to make ends meet already."

Christine Devaney said: "No NHS staff should have to pay parking fees at all the staff do a wonderful job it's a discrace."

Phil Lyne said: "Members of staff shouldn't have to pay to park their car especially at a cost of £10."