WORK on Blacktown Hospital's long-awaited $24 million six-storey car park of 600 spaces started last week.
Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospital general manager Andrew Newton said it would be ready in March next year, about one year before the completion of the $324 million expansion project that will include a new clinical facility and a mental health unit.
Mr Newton said the hospital authority was responding to public complaints that the existing 100-space public parking was inadequate, even though staff had to park their cars at Blacktown Bowling Club, which is nearby.
Residents have been complaining for many years that they needed to park their cars a long distance from the hospital because the car park didn't have enough spaces.
"I now like to inform them of the good news and to apologise for the noise, slow flow of traffic and inconvenience caused by construction work," he said. "We have timed the completion of the car park about 12 months earlier so that it could cater to greater activities caused by the extension.
"And we're making sure we don't repeat the mistakes of past hospital redevelopments which forgot to include increased parking - by building a multi-storey car park at Blacktown."
Health Minister Jillian Skinner recently said the work would provide increased capacity, a greater range of services and improved facilities for patients.
She said that, when finished, it would provide improved access to a broader range of services, including comprehensive care centres for cancer, cardiology, respiratory and aged care.