LABOUR'S shadow health spokesman promised to fight for Arrowe Park Hospital's future during an election campaign visit to Wirral today.

Andy Burnham outlined his party's five pledges for the hospital at a meeting at the Holiday Inn Express in Hoylake.

He was joined by Labour's Wirral West and Wirral South candidates Margaret Greenwood and Alison McGovern to hear first-hand accounts from health workers of the "crisis" at Wirral’s hospitals.

Among their concerns were difficulties in getting appointments and too much money being spent on agency nursing staff.

Mr Burnham unveiled a Labour plan that would see an end to competition and privatisation in the NHS, more support for frontline nurses and doctors and an end to the A&E crisis that has "crippled Arrowe Park Hospital."

He told the Globe: "We will work with the managers and staff at Arrowe Park to secure its future and help it improve. We'll also make sure that there are more doctors and nurses at the hospital.

"Labour's got a commitment to invest £2.5billion to recruit more doctors nurses and, of course, Wirral will benefit from that.

"We need to have better access to GPs for patients, appointments within 48 hours. People are struggling to get appointments here and we need to turn that situation around.

"We've also got to get a better and fairer deal for Wirral Council. It has had huge cuts and that has affected social care services. We will fight against these cuts and propose to offer a faire deal to Wirral Council.

"I do think it's a worrying time for staff at Arrowe Park. I salute them, because they are doing an incredible job in incredibly difficult circumstances.

"I did a stint work shadowing there a couple of years ago and sat in on some of the bed management meetings.

"It was incredibly difficult, the pressure was tremendous and so I have an insight into what they're going through day in day out.

"How can we give them some light at the end of the tunnel? Things can't carry on as they are.

"If the current government got back in, the cuts to social care would be even deeper.

"This election is a fight for the future of the NHS in Wirral and that message has to get out everyday until polling day."