Contractors arrived on site at Whitworth Hospital, Darley Dale, on Monday (29 April) to start work on a new car park extension which is being generously funded by Matlock Hospitals League of Friends.
The £141,000 project will provide an additional 23 parking spaces to help ease parking on site for patients and visitors. The work is expected to be completed by September 2019 for an official opening in October.
William Jones, chief operating office for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust which runs Whitworth Hospital, said: “We are immensely grateful to the league for their fantastic support over many years at Whitworth.
“This car park extension, which the league is funding, will make a big difference to the ease with which people can access the hospital site. We are delighted to mark the start of this project and would ask people to please bear with us while the contractors are on site over the coming weeks.”
The plan is to create a further seven spaces at the front of the hospital, for patient use only, and an additional 16 spaces at the rear of the hospital, where work has started first, to extend the existing car park.
Mike Tomlinson, chair of the league, said: "The problems with parking have become more difficult and we are proud to announce this scheme to give much needed space for patients' cars."
Pam Wildgoose, secretary of the league, added: "The hospital now has an increasing number of clinics and services, together with the busy minor injuries unit, x-ray and physiotherapy departments and of course the recently reprieved and much loved Oker Ward. Extra spaces are needed for the growing number of patients plus their visitors."
The present patient parking area in front of the hospital was also funded by the league and opened by Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, in the early 1990s.
Chesterfield contractors Johnson Surfacing Ltd are carrying out the work which is expected to take 11 weeks.
People arriving by car onto the hospital site are thanked for their patience as parking will temporarily be more difficult as a section of 14 existing parking spaces at the rear of the hospital are out of commission to enable the car park extension work to take place safely. There is some on-street parking on Old Hackney Road beside the rear entrance to the hospital site and non-clinical hospital staff have been asked to car share or make other arrangements if at all possible.