A nurse at Warwick Hospital has claimed ‘hundreds’ of nurses have been fined after changes to parking rules caught many of them out.
The nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, was fined back in March after spaces where staff could park were changed by South Warwickshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital and the car park.
Usually, staff can park in a separate car park to visitors as long as they pay in advance for a parking permit. But the trust changed 33 of the spaces from staff spaces to volunteer staff-only spaces, while allowing 42 spaces in another car park to be used instead. The nurse claimed this was not communicated well enough.
She said: “I’d been called in on my annual leave - I shouldn’t have even been there in the first place.
“I wasn’t aware that the designated parking area had changed. I parked in my usual spot and got a ticket.”
She was advised by another nurse who had been fined to ignore the £80 charge, which she decided to do. But after a few months, she was issued a court summons on Wednesday July 19, meaning her fine could increase to £320 plus costs. She admitted she wished she had paid the fine earlier.
The nurse said she was not the only one to be caught out, adding: “Hundreds of nurses have got tickets - there’s something not right about it.
“Somebody somewhere is making a lot of money.”
A spokesman for South Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “The trust aims to provide safe, secure car parking for staff, as well as the individuals that support the trust on a voluntary basis.
“Changes to 33 car parking spaces in one of the staff car parks at Warwick Hospital were introduced to ensure the trust’s volunteers were able to access spaces between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
“Outside of these hours, all paying members of staff are able to park in this area.
“The Trust recognises how important it is for staff to also have access to car parking so to compensate for this change, we invested in an additional 42 spaces in a different staff car park, which are available for all staff to use.
“Communications about the changes were sent to staff two weeks before they were implemented and clear signage was displayed within the car park.
“To ensure the changes were embedded and all staff were aware, there was a period of five weeks before any parking fines were given out and only warning notifications were issued.”