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Nurses receive ‘deeply unfair’ fines after change to hospital parking scheme

Debt collection letters or court summons have been sent to staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital, with one nursing student facing a £144 fine
Royal Stoke University Hospital

Debt collection letters or court summons have been sent to staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital, with one nursing student facing a £144 fine

Nurses are being targeted with debt collection letters at a hospital in the Midlands after a free parking scheme set up during the COVID-19 pandemic ended this month.

Confusion over parking restrictions has led to staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital being issued with fines for parking illegally or without displaying a permit. The fines are being issued by APCOA, the company that runs the site’s car park.

It is understood by Nursing Standard that dozens of nurses have received debt collection letters or court summons demanding payment.

RCN says nurses

Debt collection letters or court summons have been sent to staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital, with one nursing student facing a £144 fine

Royal Stoke University Hospital. Picture: Alamy

Nurses are being targeted with debt collection letters at a hospital in the Midlands after a free parking scheme set up during the COVID-19 pandemic ended this month.

Confusion over parking restrictions has led to staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital being issued with fines for parking illegally or without displaying a permit. The fines are being issued by APCOA, the company that runs the site’s car park.

It is understood by Nursing Standard that dozens of nurses have received debt collection letters or court summons demanding payment.

RCN says nurses should contact union for help

North Staffordshire RCN representative Rob Irving has appealed for members who feel they have been unjustly issued with fines to contact their union, as he has already successfully overturned a handful of fines on appeal.

‘Sadly there’s been a lot of miscommunication about the trust’s parking policies and whether people need to pay fines, and this has led to some people getting court summons,’ he said.

‘There is a general feeling among staff that this is deeply unfair, especially when they are already struggling. As nurses, our members are coming to work to help people, and are in some cases getting hit with unjust penalty notices.

Large parking fine for nursing student

One nursing student working at the hospital received a £144 fine after parking her car in a reserved area when she struggled to find a parking space.

Terrie-Ann Wright, who is on an unpaid student placement, parked in a permit-only zone after rushing to work after dropping her young son off at his grandmother’s.

‘It just seems so unfair,’ says student

Ms Wright has been forced to accept the debt collector’s payment scheme to pay off the charges after colleagues mistakenly told her not to pay the fine.

‘Dropping off my son before work and then looking for a space can add a lot of time to each side of your 12-hour shift, so I took a risk and parked where I shouldn’t,’ said Ms Wright.

‘There wasn’t a ticket on my windscreen, it just came through the post a week later but I couldn’t afford £50. Now it’s £144.

‘I have tuition fees and a loan – I pay to be there – and it already costs me £10 a day to park at work. It just seems so unfair, I’m just trying to train as a nurse.’

Multi-storey car park will ease demand for spaces, says trust

An annual parking pass for the hospital costs up to £758 or £63.21 a month. University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust said it is planning to build a multi-storey car park at the hospital, to ease the demand for spaces.

The trust’s director of estates, facilities and PFI Lorraine Whitehead said: ‘If staff have parked appropriately and their fine was issued outside of trust policy, we will work positively with them through an appeals process.’

APCOA has been contacted for comment.


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