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District nurse clamped while on visit

An on-duty nurse had her car clamped for five hours when she used an elderly patient’s private parking space, despite being in full uniform and in possession of a valid NHS permit.

The car clampers refused to free her car even after Mrs Bannock explained the nature of her visit, leaving her “hamstrung” for the whole day, according to a spokesman for the North East Essex PCT.

After being told that the fine would increase by £50 every 30 minutes, Mrs Bannock decided to stage a sit-in protest, staying in her car in order to prevent it being towed away and forcing her to postpone other visits.

Peter Richardson, of the primary care trust, said the situation “beggared belief”.

“One of our nurses has been hamstrung for the whole day and these people seem totally above the law,” he added.

Ms Bannock has been fined “in the region of £850”, according to the PCT.

Readers' comments (25)

  • "Beggers belief" doesn't really cover it - what complete and utter selfish, money grabbing idiots (the clampers that is) - these people have no idea how stressful that must have been for this nurse to be unable to perform her duties properly. How much could these patients have potentially suffered from her missed visit?

    Would suggest the fleas of a thousand camels crawl somewhere and inflict pain (but that doesn't seem harsh enough for these fools). Thats right - never cross a nurse!!

    Congratulations to the nurse involved - hope she's not paid the fine.

    This deserves converage in the media - we're not just Dr's hand maidens as it's been recenlty suggested!!

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  • It sounds like the clampers were just doing their jobs. I expect that the nurse in question knew that she should not park where she did. The NHS parking permit does not often cover us for private accommodations. The fact that she then staged a sit in protest in my view means that she put her others patients at risk herself by not admitting to her mistake. Do we really think that as nurses we should be above rules and regulations? In my opinion the nurse was wrong for parking in the private space in the first place and if the following patients suffered then it is the fault of the nurse NOT the clampers who were merely doing their job! The fine is actually so much due to her "sit in protest". Nice day off for her while the rest of her colleagues have to cover her patients as well as their own!

    In future park where you are supposed to.

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  • well where do we park, when we need to visit patients who live in areas where only permit holders are allowed to park?

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  • A nurse I worked with was 8 months pregnant was clamped in a similar situation. I do agree with the above person to a degree re not parking where there are clamping signs. However where is the compassion of these people, and surly in these days of yellow lines and clamper's everywhere in our towns and cities medical staff should have free passage. How would the person above and the clamper's feel if it was them or their family needing the attention.

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  • I think the trust should pay! its bad enough nurses have to use their own cars when on duty doing community work as it is!! thankfully they are banning clamping in private parking spaces.

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  • On duty nurses and doctors need to be legally exempt form parking restrictions when seeing patients in the community. This has highlighted a problem that can only get worse as more people are now being nursed in their own homes. Come on guys do something.. lets face it, its a hard enough job as it is.. we should NOT have to cope with being clamped... and for parking 'in the right place', well! if you can find a place that is 'right' then good luck! Because from where i am standing (or driving) its very difficult to park at time in this country! Where are the unions in all of this and why aren't they doing more to protect nurses from this kind of abuse? That poor patient also had to suffer the indignity of trying to protect her 'space'. When they realised their mistake the clamp should have been removed immediately!

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  • Oh for crying out loud. Was this nurse disabled in some way? No? Well she should have parked where it is legal to do so. She cannot say she was in a hurry as she managed to cancel all of her appointments. If the sign was clear for her to see (I presume it was in daylight) she is the architect of her own downfall - her attitude is summed up by her sit-in protest where she has not displayed a professional and caring disposition to her subsequent patients. She should have just paid the PCN and then appealed.
    Her problems of course could only just be beginning, now that this incident is in the public domain it might be seen by the NMC then heaven only knows what will happen to her.

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  • Its not always that easy to park and walk, The areas I cover have large areas of resident parking by permit only, and other areas parked up by allday parkers who then migrate into town to work.sometimes one has to carry equipment as is often the case of midwives on duty and attending a delivery, It is often a nightmare trying to find some where safe and legal to park and a lot of time is wasted between visits by walking and trying to find an appropiate place to park

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  • Unless the car has been in storage for a long while, £850 is an unlawful fee, although unfortunately not in a criminal sense. The crime and security act 2010, which came into effect on April 8th, sets maximum fees as follows:
    Maximum release fee for removal of a wheel clamp of £125
    Maximum fee of £250 for removal and return of a vehicle
    Maximum daily storage charge of £35 for removed vehicles

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  • If this had happened to a GP, the outcome would have been completely different. That is because doctors have more respect for each other and stand together as a group. Nurses who work in the community should be exempt from the same rules and regulations that apply to the mainstream general public where parking is concerned when they are visiitng patients. This hight lights (again) the problem of divide and rule within the nursing profession which is why we get treated the way we do. if we stood together we would be powerful enough to change circumstances that would ultimately benefit the public as well as us. I will say again NURSES WHO WORK IN THE COMMUNITY AND HAVE TO VISIT PATIENTS IN THEIR OWN HOME SHOULD BE LEGALLY EXEMPT AND BE ABLE TO PARK IN A SAFE, SECURE ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY ARE NOT AT RISK OF THIS KIND OF ABUSE.

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  • It has been my experience, as a community nurse, that private parking spaces usually have a clause in the tenancy/ownership documentation that provides for the visits of Drs, Nurses and emergency vehicles, with the proviso that the member of staff displays an NHS 'card' and, out of courtesy, notifies the company dealing with the enforcement of the restricitions of the make and colour of the vehicle. This takes moments, and the contact number is usually prominently displayed. I sympathise with the nurse who has experienced problems but I'm sure if she had advised the enforcement company in advance, they would have been more accommodating.

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  • I experienced a similar situation whilst working as a District Nursing Sister. My patient had a parking permit for visitors to use, unfortunately for me, as he had been in hospital for 3 months, and lived alone, by the time he was discharged home, the parking company had issued new permits. He had been unable to sort through 3 months postal deliveries and my car was clamped. The company in question showed no compassion and were only interested in claiming the money owed. My line manager had no interest in the situation, and made no effort to intervene or help me as an interim measure. Fortunately one of my staff nurses had a credit card with her that day and she paid my fine, for which she was reimbursed. My patient felt responsible, and subsequently repaid the fine to me - that involved yards of paperwork, as you will imagine, when I had to explain to the higher echelons why I had a patient named cheque for £70 to pay into my account!
    I am of the opinion that had I been a visiting GP, this issue would have raised with the PCT and changes made.
    With more yellow lines and residents parking bays, community nursing is becoming more of a challenge to facilitate effectively. Recently I've heard of London Ambulance Service being clamped on a 999 call. Are we feeding our children the wrong foods - is it "E" numbers or fluoride in the drinking water, where have we gone wrong??????

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  • Where is the respect these days for District Nurses and community staff. We are there to provide care to the terminally ill and patients discharged from hospital, also the housebound patients. Is there no compassion and respect any more for the NHS and the distress it causes patients if we are late or held up trying to provide quality care

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  • There is no respect and until nurses start to respect themselves and each other and stand together like doctors and other health care professionals we will always get treated in this way. The unions don't help much either.

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  • I work as a community nurse and have ofter use allocated 'private spaces' in course of my duties. When this has occured I have telephoned the car park companies on the clearly displayed phone numbers and informed them of my status and my car reg etc. They have always been very courtious and I have never had a problem.

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  • I agree with the comments in terms of the public's general malaise and lack of respect for community nurses and I'm afraid that is just how the world is these days it really is a difficult enough job to do without having to put up with parking miles from the patient's house! When I was a District Nurse we were not allowed to use 'Nurse on Call' stickers in our cars because of the risk from Drug Addicts yet Doctors often use them and it does (in some parts of the country) allow them to park for short periods in restricted areas. With patients now being granted the right to determine their PPC -I think the Highways Agency should do something about giving Community Nurses parking priorities-and PCT's should actively work with local authorities to set this up ASAP. Either that or they wait for a nurse to be attacked- which the cynic in me would say is the more likely scenario isn't it!

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  • whilst i feel a certain amount of sympathy for this districts nurse she did not appear to have any sympathy for her patients which she abandoned whilst she sat in her car
    new laws sre coming in to place that bans these clampers on private land
    i suppose the problem being where do we draw the line, i work in the community and yes it difficult at times to park near patients homes but we are not above the law, how ever unjust it may seem, and a telephone call prior to the visit may have alleviated the inconvenience that this nurse suffered, if it is private parking its private parking stay out, i personally hate these un controlled clampers and do take extra care where i park, but this nurse only has her self to blame

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  • Anonymous 10 42
    i was attacked as a community nurse at 10 am in daylight and i had managed to park right next to the home of the patient i was visiting you dont have to be parked any great distance, i think the issue here is wrongful parking and the nurse concerned was wrongly parked, we can rant on and on about parking priorites and stickers but we dont have them, so dont break the rules if you dont want to get caught, and perhaps if all this energy was put onto lobbying for parking rights we would not have a situation such as this

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  • A nurse taking £70 of patients money to pay for her wrong doing, shame on you, where in all this was it the patients fault?????

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  • Anonymous | 19-Aug-2010 11:13 am, I was surprised to read the maximum fees you quoted from The crime and security act 2010. The latest update (August 2010) from The House of Commons also quotes the same fees, but makes it clear that they were recommended by The British Parking Association in 2006 and 'have no legal force'. Here is the link
    http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/briefings/snbt-01490.pdf

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