HEALTH and safety rules mean Basildon Hospital is having to spend money building a shelter over a car park loading bay – so the ground doesn’t get wet.

The hospital has applied for permission to build a new shelter over the bay where medicines and meals are taken off vans.

It has put in an application to Basildon Council to be allowed to do the work to create a “safer working area for all personnel who use the current loading bay”.

But bosses admit there has not been a single instance of a person being injured, or any goods being damaged in the area, in the history of the hospital.

A hospital spokesman said: “Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, all workplaces are obliged to continually conduct and review risk assessments across their sites.

“As a result of one of these regular risk assessments, an area was identified where a possible slip could occur.”

She added that the cost of the work cannot yet be calculated as it is out to tender.

If planning permission is granted, work on the 44sq m canopy, which will be made out of concrete and metal, will take three to four months. Andy Silvester, campaign manager of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be very keen that not a penny is spent on Basildon Hospital that isn’t explicitly used to improve standards of care for patients.

“If legislation dictates this canopy must be built, then hospital bosses should make sure they don’t spend any more than is absolutely necessary."